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Oxygen uptake dynamics during high-intensity exercise in children and adults


We hypothesized that the O2 uptake (Vo2) response to high-intensity exercise would be different in children than in adults. To test this hypothesis, 22 children (6-12 yr old) and 7 adults (27-40 yr old) performed 6 min of constant-work-rate cycle-ergometer exercise. Sixteen children performed a single test above their anaerobic threshold (AT). In a separate protocol, six children and all adults exercised at low and high intensity. Low-intensity exercise corresponded to the work rate at 80% of each subject's AT. High-intensity exercise (above the AT) was determined first by calculating the difference in work rate between the AT and the maximal Vo2 (delta). Twenty-five, 50, and 75% of this difference were added to the work rate at the subject's AT, and these work rates were referred to as 25% delta, 50% delta, and 75% delta. For exercise at 50% delta and 75% delta, Vo2 increased throughout exercise (O2 drift, linear regression slope of Vo2 as a function of time from 3 to 6 min) in all the adults, and the magnitude of the drift was correlated with increasing work rates in the above-AT range (r = 0.91, P less than 0.0001). In contrast, no O2 drift was observed in over half of the children during above-AT exercise. The O2 drifts were much higher in adults (1.76 +/- 0.63 ml at 75% delta) than in children (0.20 +/- 0.42, P less than 0.01).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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