Publication Date


Degree Program

Department of Kinesiology, Recreation and Sport

Degree Type

Master of Science in Physical Education


Maximum oxygen consumption (VC^max) represents the highest rate at which oxygen can be consumed and utilized to produce energy sustaining aerobic activity. V02max is regarded as the gold standard for assessing aerobic fitness and is essential for prescribing appropriate exercise intensities. Therefore, accurate determination of VC>2max is vital. Usually, VC>2max is obtained when an individual reaches volitional exhaustion during a Graded Exercise Test (GXT). Previous studies show V02max during standing cycle ergometry protocols and treadmill protocols to be similar, while seated cycle ergometry V02tnax values are lower. Conversely, other studies show seated and standing cycle ergometry V02max to be comparable. Because previous studies are equivocal, the purpose of the current study was to compare V02max between seated and standing cycle ergometry protocols. In a counterbalanced order, male (n=14) and female (n=22) average fit volunteers completed a maximal exertion seated cycle ergometry protocol (SIT) and a maximal exertion standing cycle ergometry protocol (STD). Cadence for each protocol was 60 revolutions per minute (rpm), with resistance being increased 30 Watts each minute until volitional exhaustion. SIT required individuals to perform a maximal exertion test and remain seated until volitional exhaustion. For STD, subjects completed the same protocol; however, when the subjects felt they could no longer continue in a seated position, they were required to stand and perform "standing cycling" to volitional exhaustion. V02max (ml/kg/min), heart rate (HR) (b/min), respiratory exchange ratio (RER), and ventilation (VE) (L/min) were compared between SIT and STD using a Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA). Results were considered significant at p < 0.05. V02maxsTD (37.93 + 8.01) was significantly greater than V02maxSIT (36.82 + 6.63), while HRSTD (189.7 } 9.5) was significantly greater than HRSIT (187.3 + 9.6). V02maxsTD was on average 1.95% greater than V02maxsrr with a range of -16.93 to +17.43%, while HRSTD was on average 1.23% greater than HRS IT with values ranging from -5.59 to +7.43%. VES TD (86.02 }31.64) was not significantly greater than VESrr (82.64 } 26.77), while RERs i t (1.23 } 0.065) was significantly greater than R E R S T D (1-21 } 0.096). Results show a standing cycle ergometry protocol permits significantly higher V02max and HR values compared to a seated protocol. Twenty out of thirty-six subjects (55.6%) achieved a higher V02max and 25/36 (69.4%) recorded a higher peak HR during STD. The current results suggest a standing cycle ergometry protocol should be considered for implementation when cycle ergometry is the selected mode. However, future research should seek to determine characteristics of subjects who do and do not benefit from a standing versus seated protocol.



Included in

Physiology Commons