Exercise testing in children: an alternative approach.

Research paper by D B DB Claxton, J H JH Chapman, N V NV Challis, M L ML Fysh

Indexed on: 18 Nov '00Published on: 18 Nov '00Published in: Ergonomics


In recent years there has been a call for new methods of evaluating the cardiorespiratory responses of children to exercise that complement their everyday exercise patterns. One potential method would be to use a sub-maximal, intermittent, pseudo-random binary sequence (PRBS) exercise test protocol to measure oxygen uptake kinetics (VO2 kinetics). Ten children of mean (SD) age 10.8 (+/- 1.5) years completed a 20 - 50 W cycle ergometer protocol of 17-min duration. An estimate of alveolar oxygen uptake (VO2) was calculated on a breath-by-breath basis. The VO2 kinetic parameters were expressed in the frequency domain as amplitude ratio and phase delay using standard Fourier techniques. Analysis was restricted to the frequency range 2.2 to 8.9 mHz. The mean (SD) amplitude ratio responses decreased from 10.33 (+/- 0.73) to 7.42 (+/- 0.99) ml min(-1) W(-1) and the mean phase delay increased from -26.78 degrees (+/- 6.37 degrees) to -81.93 degrees (+/- 10.45 degrees) over the frequency range 2.2-8.9 mHz. Significant correlations (p < 0.05) were found between chronological age and amplitude ratio (r = 0.68 and 0.62), and chronological age and phase delay (r = -0.62 and -0.69) at the frequencies of 2.2 and 4.4 mHz, respectively. No significant correlations were found between VO2 kinetics and stature or VO2 kinetics and body mass. The observations demonstrated the use of the PRBS technique to measure VO2 kinetics in the frequency domain in children. This approach may be a useful addition to the tests that are used to quantify the oxygen uptake responses to exercise in children.