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Phlebology. 2011 Apr;26(3):102-6. doi: 10.1258/phleb.2010.010017. Epub 2011 Jan 12.

Cardio-respiratory and metabolic responses to different levels of compression during submaximal exercise.

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  • 1Institute of Training Science and Sport Informatics, German Sport University Cologne, 50933 Köln, Germany. sperlich@dshs-koeln.de



The effects of knee-high socks that applied different levels of compression (0, 10, 20, 30 and 40 mmHg) on various cardio-respiratory and metabolic parameters during submaximal running were analysed.


Fifteen well-trained, male endurance athletes (age: 22.2 ± 1.3 years; peak oxygen uptake: 57.2 ± 4.0 mL/minute/kg) performed a ramp test to determine peak oxygen uptake. Thereafter, all athletes carried out five periods of submaximal running (at approximately 70% of peak oxygen uptake) with and without compression socks that applied the different levels of pressure. Cardiac output and index, stroke volume, arterio-venous difference in oxygen saturation, oxygen uptake, arterial oxygen saturation, heart rate and blood lactate were monitored before and during all of these tests.


Cardiac output (P = 0.29) and index (P = 0.27), stroke volume (P = 0.50), arterio-venous difference in oxygen saturation (P = 0.11), oxygen uptake (P = 1.00), arterial oxygen saturation (P = 1.00), heart rate (P = 1.00) and arterial lactate concentration (P = 1.00) were unaffected by compression (effect sizes = 0.00-0.65).


This first evaluation of the potential effects of increasing levels of compression on cardio-respiratory and metabolic parameters during submaximal exercise revealed no effects whatsoever.

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