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Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2015 Apr;40(4):309-15. doi: 10.1139/apnm-2014-0264. Epub 2014 Nov 12.

Cardiorespiratory alterations induced by low-intensity exercise performed in water or on land.

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UMR-MD2, Dysoxie Suractivité, Institut de Recherche Biomédicale des Armées et Université d'Aix-Marseille, Marseille, France., INPP. Port de la Pointe Rouge entrée n°3, 13008 Marseille, France.


The aim of this study was to compare the cardiorespiratory alterations induced by a low-intensity exercise performed on land or in water. Sixteen healthy subjects were investigated. The exercise consisted of a 1-h period of ergocycling at 35%-40% of peak oxygen uptake. Investigations were performed at rest and 45 min after the beginning of the exercises. Hemodynamic changes were studied by Doppler-echocardiography. Gas exchanges were continuously monitored by an oxygen gas analyzer. Blood samples were taken successively at baseline, within the last minutes of the exercise bout, and during recovery to measure total protein concentration and natriuretic peptides. Cardiovascular parameters were not significantly different during exercise performed on land or in water. As a result of an accelerated breathing frequency, ventilation output was significantly greater in water. Biological changes included a decrease in total protein concentration and an increase in natriuretic peptides in water. During low-intensity exercise, ventilatory alterations favoured increasing the work of breathing while in the water when compared with the same exercise performed on land. Hemodynamic changes were similar in the 2 conditions. Furthermore, biological findings suggest that the fluid transfer from intravascular sector toward interstitial sector could be facilitated in water.


cardiac function; diving; echocardiography; fonction cardiaque; hemodynamic; hémodynamique; immersion en eau; immersion pulmonary edema; plongée; water immersion; échocardiographie; œdème pulmonaire d’immersion

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