Prediction of upper extremity peak oxygen consumption from heart rate during submaximal arm cycling in young and middle-aged adults
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology. 2019, 119 (11-12), 2589-2598. 10.1007/s00421-019-04225-3
Based on the strong linear relationship between heart rate (HR) and oxygen consumption, the Åstrand–Ryhming cycle ergometer test (Astrand and Ryhming in J Appl Physiol 7:218–221, 1954) is a widely used submaximal test to predict whole body maximal oxygen consumption (V˙O2max). However, a similar test predicting peak oxygen consumption (V˙O2peak) in the upper extremities is not established, and may be very useful for individuals unable to use their lower extremities or/and if separation of upper extremity aerobic capacity is sought after. Thus, the aim of the current study was to develop a submaximal test predicting V˙O2peak in arm-cycling. Forty-nine healthy volunteers (25 women: 38 ± 13 years; 24 men: 39 ± 12 years) tested arm-cycle V˙O2peak on a protocol with 4-min, 21-W increments to exhaustion. The data were contrasted to treadmill V˙O2max values. Arm-cycle V˙O2peak was 66 ± 8% of V˙O2max (r = 0.92, p < 0.001; women: 1.9 ± 0.4 L min−1; men: 3.0 ± 0.7 L min−1). Arm-cycle HR and %V˙O2 exhibited correlations of r = 0.79 and r = 0.78 for women and men, respectively, while corresponding correlations between work rate and V˙O2 were r = 0.95 (women) and r = 0.89 (men) (all p < 0.001). Arm-cycle V˙O2peak prediction revealed a standard error of estimate (SEE) of 11.2% (women) and 10.2% (men), and was primarily due to individual arm-cycle maximal HR (women: 173 ± 13 beats min−1; men: 174 ± 10 beats min−1; correction factor: 5–7%). In conclusion, from a single 4-min stage of submaximal arm cycling, V˙O2peak can be predicted with a SEE of 10–11%. The arm-cycle test may have important value for individuals who rely on arms in sports and occupations, and for patients with lower extremity disabilities.