Graduation Date

Spring 2017

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

Program

Master of Science degree with a major in Kinesiology, option Exercise Science

Committee Chair Name

Dr. Justus Ortega

Committee Chair Email

jdo1@humboldt.edu

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Dr. Boe Burrus

Second Committee Member Email

Boe.Burrus@humboldt.edu

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Subject Categories

Kinesiology

Abstract

Impaired walking performance is a key determinant of morbidity among older adults. A distinctive characteristic of impaired walking performance among older adults is a greater metabolic cost compared to young adults. Specifically, healthy older adults have been shown to have a 15-20% greater metabolic cost of walking compared to young adults. However, a recent study suggests that older adults who routinely run for exercise have a lower metabolic cost of walking compared to older adults who walk for exercise. Yet, it remains unclear if other aerobic exercises such as bicycling elicits similar improvements on walking metabolic cost among older adults. The purpose of this study was to determine if regular bicycling exercise affects metabolic cost of walking in older adults. We measured metabolic rate while 33 older adults “bicyclists” or “walkers” and 16 young adults walked on a level treadmill at four speeds between (0.75-1.75 m/s). We compared metabolic cost in the three groups. Across the range of walking speeds, older bicyclists had a 9-17% lower metabolic cost of walking compared to older walkers (p=.009) and similar metabolic cost of walking compared to young adults (p=1.00). In conclusion, bicycling exercise mitigates the age-related deterioration of walking metabolic cost, whereas walking for exercise appears to have a minimal effect on improving metabolic cost of walking in older adults. We suspect the greater aerobic intensity of bicycling exercise may maintain muscle mitochondrial efficiency in aging and thus helps explain the lower metabolic cost of walking in older bicyclists versus older walkers.

Citation Style

Physiological Reviews

Available for download on Wednesday, May 02, 2018

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