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Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2010 Jul;42(7):1345-54. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181cd5cd3.

Physiological demands of off-road vehicle riding.

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Physical Activity and Chronic Disease Unit, Faculty of Health, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



The purpose of this study was to characterize the physiological demands of recreational off-road vehicle riding under typical riding conditions using habitual recreational off-road vehicle riders (n = 128).


Comparisons of the physical demands of off-road vehicle riding were made between vehicle types (all-terrain vehicle (ATV) and off-road motorcycle (ORM)) to the demands of common recreational activities. Habitual riders (ATV = 56, ORM = 72) performed strength assessments before and after a representative trail ride (48 +/- 24.2 min), and ambulatory oxygen consumption was measured during one lap (24.2 +/- 11.8 min) of the ride.


The mean VO2 requirement (mL x kg(-1) x min(-1)) while riding an off-road vehicle was 12.1 +/- 4.9 for ATV and 21.3 +/- 7.1 for ORM (P = 0.002), which is comparable to the VO2 required of many common recreational activities. Temporal analysis of activity intensity revealed approximately 14% of an ATV ride and 38% of an ORM ride are within the intensity range (940% VO2 reserve) required to achieve changes in aerobic fitness. Riding on a representative course also led to muscular fatigue, particularly in the upper body.


On the basis of the measured metabolic demands, evidence of muscular strength requirements, and the associated caloric expenditures with off-road vehicle riding, this alternative form of activity conforms to the recommended physical activity guidelines and can be effective for achieving beneficial changes in health and fitness.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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