The effects of maximal and submaximal arm crank ergometry and cycle ergometry on postural sway

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    This study aimed to determine whether arm crank ergometry (ACE) disturbed postural sway to the same extent as cycle ergometry (CE). Nine healthy, none specifically trained adults undertook posturographic tests before and after five separate exercise trials consisting of: two incremental exercise tests to exhaustion for ACE and CE to examine postural sway responses to maximal exercise and to determine peak power output (Wmax); two subsequent tests of 30 min duration for ACE and CE at a relative workload corresponding to 50% of the ergometer-specific Wmax (ACErel; 53 ± 8 W and CErel; 109 ± 16 W). A final CE trial was performed at the same absolute power output (CEabs) as the submaximal ACE trial to match absolute exercise intensity (i.e., 53 ± 8 W). The centre of pressure (COP) displacement was recorded using a force platform before, immediately after exercise and during a 30-min recovery period. ACE had no effects on postural sway (P > 0.05). An increase in mediolateral COP displacement was observed following maximal CE only (P = 0.001), while anteroposterior COP displacement and COP path length increased following maximal and submaximal CE (P <0.05). These differences in postural sway according to exercise mode likely stem from the activity of postural muscles when considering that CE recruits lower limb muscles involved in balance. This study provides evidence of an exercise mode which does not elicit post-exercise balance impairments, therefore possesses applications to those at an increased risk of falling.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)782-790
    JournalEuropean Journal of Sport Science
    Issue number8
    Early online date8 Apr 2014
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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    • Muscle fatigue
    • upper body
    • posture
    • elderly
    • balance control
    • exercise


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