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Int J Sports Med. 2000 Jul;21(5):356-9.

Load carriage energy expenditure with and without hiking poles during inclined walking.

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Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, USA. BHJ52@OKSTATE.EDU


The purpose of this study was to compare load carriage energy expenditure with and without using hiking poles. Twenty male volunteers aged 20-48yr (Mean=29.8yr) completed two randomly ordered submaximal treadmill trials with poles (E) and without poles (C). Poles and load (15 kg backpack) were fitted for each subject according to the manufacturers' suggestions. Heart rates (HR), minute ventilation (V(E)), oxygen consumption (O2), caloric expenditure (Kcal), and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were recorded at the end of each minute. Two trials separated by one week consisted of a constant treadmill speed of 1.5 mph and 1 min at 10% grade, 2 min at 15% grade, 2 min at 20% grade, and 10 min. at 25% grade. Mean HR (E = 144.8 +/- 24.4 b x min(-1); C = 144.0 +/- 25.7 b x min(-1)) and mean V(E) (E=51.4 +/- 15.8L x min(-1); C=50.8 +/- 17.0L x min(-1)), VO2 (E = 26.9 +/- 6.1 ml x kg(-1) x min(-1); C = 27.4 +/- 6.6 ml x kg(-1) x min(-1)), and Kcal (E = 10.6 +/- 2.9 Kcal x min(-1); C = 10.8 +/- 3.1 Kcal x min(-1)) were not significantly different between the two conditions. RPE (E = 13.28 +/- 1.2; C = 14.56 +/- 1.2) was significantly lower (P < 0.05) with hiking poles. Analysis of paired time points yielded no significant differences in HR, VO2, V(E), and Kcal, however, RPE means were significantly lower for 5 of the last 7 trial minutes with the use of poles. These results suggest that during load carriage on moderate grade, the weight and use of hiking poles does not increase energy expenditure but may provide reduced perceptions of physical exertion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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