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J Appl Physiol (1985). 1999 Jul;87(1):253-60.

Kinetics of oxygen uptake during supine and upright heavy exercise.

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  • 1Applied Physiology Laboratory, Kobe Design University, Kobe 651-2196, Japan. s-koga@kobe-du.ac.jp


It is presently unclear how the fast and slow components of pulmonary oxygen uptake (VO(2)) kinetics would be altered by body posture during heavy exercise [i.e., above the lactate threshold (LT)]. Nine subjects performed transitions from unloaded cycling to work rates representing moderate (below the estimated LT) and heavy exercise (VO(2) equal to 50% of the difference between LT and peak VO(2)) under conditions of upright and supine positions. During moderate exercise, the steady-state increase in VO(2) was similar in the two positions, but VO(2) kinetics were slower in the supine position. During heavy exercise, the rate of adjustment of VO(2) to the 6-min value was also slower in the supine position but was characterized by a significant reduction in the amplitude of the fast component of VO(2), without a significant slowing of the phase 2 time constant. However, the amplitude of the slow component was significantly increased, such that the end-exercise VO(2) was the same in the two positions. The changes in VO(2) kinetics for the supine vs. upright position were paralleled by a blunted response of heart rate at 2 min into exercise during supine compared with upright heavy exercise. Thus the supine position was associated with not only a greater amplitude of the slow component for VO(2) but also, concomitantly, with a reduced amplitude of the fast component; this latter effect may be due, at least in part, to an attenuated early rise in heart rate in the supine position.

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