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Comparison of Energy Expenditure on a Treadmill vs. an Elliptical Device at a Self-Selected Exercise Intensity

Authors:
  • Biofortis Clinical Research (Mérieux NutriSciences), Addison, IL

Abstract

Treadmills (TM) and elliptical devices (EL) are popular forms of exercise equipment. The differences in the training stimulus presented by TM or EL are unknown. The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate oxygen consumption, energy expenditure, and heart rate on a TM or EL when persons exercise at the same perceived level of exertion. After measuring peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak) in 9 male and 9 female untrained college-aged participants, the subjects performed 2 separate 15-minute submaximal exercise tests on the TM and EL at a rating of perceived exertion (RPE) of 12-13. VO2peak was higher (p<0.05) in the males (48.6+/-1.5 vs. 45.2+/-1.6 ml/kg/min) than the females (41.7+/-1.8 vs. 38.8+/-2.2 ml/kg/min) for both TM and EL (means+/-standard error of the mean; for TM vs. EL respectively), but there were no differences in the measured VO2peak between TM or EL. During submaximal exercise there were no differences in RPE between TM and EL. Total oxygen consumption was higher (p<0.05) in males (30.8+/-2.2 vs. 34.9+/-2.2 L) than females (24.1+/-1.8 vs. 26.9+/-1.7 L) but did not differ between TM and EL. Energy expenditure was not different between TM (569+/-110 J) or EL (636+/-120 kJ). Heart rate was higher (p<0.05) on the EL (164+/-16 beats/min) compared to the TM (145+/-15 beats/min). When subjects exercise at the same RPE on TM or EL, oxygen consumption and energy expenditure are similar in spite of a higher heart rate on the EL. These data indicate that during cross training or noncompetition-specific exercise, an elliptical device is an acceptable alternative to a treadmill.
COMPARISON OF ENERGY EXPENDITURE ON A
TREADMILL VS.AN ELLIPTICAL DEVICE AT A
SELF-SELECTED EXERCISE INTENSITY
GREGORY A. BROWN,CHAD M. COOK,RYAN D. KRUEGER,AND KATE A. HEELAN
Human Performance Laboratory, Department of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Leisure Studies,
University of Nebraska at Kearney, Kearney, Nebraska
ABSTRACT
Brown, GA, Cook, CM, Krueger, RD, and Heelan, KA.
Comparison of energy expenditure on a treadmill vs. an
elliptical device at a self-selected exercise intensity. J Strength
Cond Res 24(6): 1643–1649, 2010—Treadmills (TM) and
elliptical devices (EL) are popular forms of exercise equipment.
The differences in the training stimulus presented by TM or EL
are unknown. The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate
oxygen consumption, energy expenditure, and heart rate on
a TM or EL when persons exercise at the same perceived level
of exertion. After measuring peak oxygen uptake (
_
VO
2
peak) in
9 male and 9 female untrained college-aged participants, the
subjects performed 2 separate 15-minute submaximal exercise
tests on the TM and EL at a rating of perceived exertion (RPE) of
12–13.
_
VO
2
peak was higher (p,0.05) in the males (48.6 6
1.5 vs. 45.2 61.6 ml/kg/min) than the females (41.7 61.8 vs.
38.8 62.2 ml/kg/min) for both TM and EL (means 6standard
error of the mean; for TM vs. EL respectively), but there were no
differences in the measured
_
VO
2
peak between TM or EL. During
submaximal exercise there were no differences in RPE between
TM and EL. Total oxygen consumption was higher (p,0.05) in
males (30.8 62.2 vs. 34.9 62.2 L) than females (24.1 61.8
vs. 26.9 61.7 L) but did not differ between TM and EL. Energy
expenditure was not different between TM (569 6110 J) or EL
(636 6120 kJ). Heart rate was higher (p,0.05) on the EL
(164 616 beats/min) compared to the TM (145 615 beats/
min). When subjects exercise at the same RPE on TM or EL,
oxygen consumption and energy expenditure are similar in spite
of a higher heart rate on the EL. These data indicate that during
cross training or noncompetition-specific exercise, an elliptical
device is an acceptable alternative to a treadmill.
KEY WORDS rating of perceived exertion, oxygen consumption,
heart rate, submaximal exercise, energy expenditure
INTRODUCTION
Physical inactivity is considered a major risk factor
for a number of adverse health conditions including
obesity, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and
diabetes mellitus (9,27,28). The current guidelines
from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
indicate that at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity
aerobic physical activity on most days of the week are
required to promote health and prevent disease (17). The U.S.
Surgeon General’s report on physical activity indicates that
people should engage in at least 60 minutes of moderate-
intensity physical activity every day to prevent obesity,
whereas the Institute of Medicine indicates that people need
90 minutes of moderate physical activity to lose weight (6).
When encouraging people to become physically active,
it is important to have individuals select exercise modalities
that optimize energy expenditure to prevent or treat obesity
(21,26), whereas presenting a training stimulus that is per-
ceptually preferable will enhance exercise adherence (4).
Many different exercise modalities can produce beneficial car-
diovascular effects (17); however, differences exist in energy
expenditure among exercise devices during submaximal
exercise at intensities within the perceptual preference
range, which is defined as an rating of perceived exertion
(RPE) of 11 (fairly light) to 15 (hard) on the Borg scale (26).
By determining the efficiency of different exercise modalities,
recommendations regarding the modality used for health-
related physical activity can be made that may result in
substantial benefits and help to promote long-term exercise
adherence (15,26).
Exercising on a treadmill (TM) is very common, and this
exercise modality allows people to engage in the most com-
mon form of physical activity among those persons who
engage in regular physical activity—walking (2,6). Exercising
on a TM has been reported to produce the greatest caloric
Address correspondence to Gregory A. Brown, brownga@unk.edu.
24(6)/1643–1649
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Ó2010 National Strength and Conditioning Association
VOLUME 24 | NUMBER 6 | JUNE 2010 | 1643
expenditure for the same RPE compared to a cross-country
skiing simulator, rowing ergometer, stair stepper, and cycle
ergometer (29). Elliptical devices (EL) are a relatively new
modality of exercise and are advertised to be superior to
a treadmill because of the low joint impact and the more
reasonable costs of an EL compared to a TM. Exercise on
an EL has been evaluated for heart rate, RPE, and oxygen
consumption during a single session of exercise (7,16). Fur-
thermore, Egana and Donne (13) observed similar enhance-
ments in fitness during a 12-week stair-climbing, EL, or TM
training program. However, TM and EL exercise has not
been compared for oxygen consumption, energy expendi-
ture, and heart rate during a single session of exercise. Given
the purported benefits of exercising on an EL compared to
TM, and the utility of having several modalities of exercise
available for cross training or non-competition specific
exercise (20), an understanding of the physiological response
to exercise on an EL compared to a TM is desirable.
The purpose of this investigation was to examine the
oxygen consumption, energy expenditure, and heart rate at
the same perceived intensity of exercise during a single session
of exercise on a TM and EL in untrained college-aged males
and females. Based on the results of Egana and Donne (13),
it is hypothesized that there will be no differences in oxygen
consumption, energy expenditure, and heart rate between
TM and EL exercise.
METHODS
Experimental Approach to the Problem
To evaluate for possible differences in oxygen consumption,
energy expenditure, and heart rate between treadmill and
elliptical exercise, subjects were evaluated for maximum
oxygen uptake (
_
VO
2
max) on a treadmill and elliptical device,
then performed submaximal exercise at the same moderate-
intensity RPE on both devices. Prior to any testing, subjects
were given instructions regarding the proper use of the
exercise equipment and were also familiarized with the
15-point (6–20) Borg RPE scale (10). Subjects were also
questioned about their use of, and familiarity with, the exer-
cise equipment and were required to demonstrate compe-
tence and correct form (e.g., not leaning on the handrails
and ability to maintain balance on the devices) in the use of
a TM and EL. If needed, a 10-minute practice session was
performed on one or both pieces of equipment on a non-
testing day before any experimental testing. Each subject
then participated in 3 separate exercise sessions. The first
2 sessions involved assessment of cardiorespiratory fitness
(
_
VO
2
peak) on a treadmill TM and elliptical device EL. The
2
_
VO
2
peak assessments were completed in random order at
least 48 hours apart and completed within a 1-week time
frame. At least 48 hours after the second
_
VO
2
peak assessment,
the subjects completed a 15-minute submaximal exercise
session on each device, in random order, with exercise
sessions separated by 15 minutes of seated rest to allow for
recovery between sessions. All aspects of this project were
conducted in the same year during the months of May,
June, and July in the Human Performance Laboratory at
the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
Subjects
Eighteen, 19–24-year-old males (n= 9) and females (n=9)
who had no history of participation in structured aerobic or
resistance training volunteered to participate in this project.
Personal and immediate family health histories were
obtained from each subject prior to acceptance into the
program using a health and exercise history that met the
suggestions provided by the American College of Sports
Medicine (1) to exclude persons with known metabolic or
health condition(s) such as diabetes, heart complications,
and/or orthopedic limitations and to ensure that the subjects
were not regularly (more than once per week) engaging in
any form of exercise. In addition, subjects taking medications
or supplements that could affect physical performance or
metabolism (e.g., cardiac drugs, thyroid drugs, stimulants),
pregnant females, and subjects who smoked or used tobacco
products were excluded. Prior to beginning this project,
which was approved by the University of Nebraska at
Kearney Institutional Review Board, each subject read and
signed a document of informed consent. The body mass of
each subject was measured to the nearest 0.01 kg using
a digital platform scale (PS6600, Befour Inc., Saukville, WI,
USA), and body height was measured to the nearest 0.25 cm
using a stadiometer (Model 115, Seca, Hamburg, Germany).
Body mass index (kg/m
2
) was then calculated for each
subject. The male subjects were taller and had a larger body
mass (p,0.05) than did the females (Table 1).
Cardiorespiratory Fitness Assessment
Subjects performed a maximal graded exercise test on the
TM and EL for determination of cardiorespiratory fitness
(
_
VO
2
peak) in a randomized, crossover pattern on 2 separate
days separated by 48 hours. For measurement of
_
VO
2
peak on
the TM (Model 2000, SensorMedics Inc., Yorba Linda, CA,
USA), subjects performed a modified Balke protocol (1),
which consisted of walking at 3.4 mph while the grade
increased 2.5% every 2 minutes until volitional fatigue. There
does not appear to be an established protocol for measuring
_
VO
2
peak using an elliptical device, so in the present
investigation the subjects performed continuous exercise at
150 revolutions/minute with the grade crossramp set at 8%
and resistance increasing 2 units every 2 minutes until
volitional fatigue on the elliptical device (EFX 546, Precor
USA, Woodinville, WA, USA). For a
_
VO
2
peak test to be
considered valid, the subject must have met 3 out of the
following 4 physiological markers: (a) maximal heart rate
(HR
max
) within 10 beats per minute (bpm) of age-predicted
maximum heart rate (calculated as 2202age); (b) maximal
respiratory exchange ratio (RER) of $1.10; (c) maximal
oxygen consumption plateaued within 150 mL in the last
minute of exercise; and (d) a rating of perceived exertion of
$18 (1). If 3 out of the 4 criteria were not met, the subject was
1644
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
the
TM
Energy Expenditure: Treadmill vs. Elliptical
asked to repeat the test on a separate day. During both
_
VO
2
peak tests and submaximal exercise tests, expired air was
measured for quantity, oxygen, and carbon dioxide content at
20-second intervals using a metabolic cart (2900, Sensor-
Medics. Inc., Yorba Linda, CA, USA) and heart rate was
assessed with a heart rate monitor (Polar Vantage XL, Polar
Electro Inc., Lake Success, NY, USA). Heart rate and RPE
were collected at the end of each 2-minute stage and at the
final stopping point when the subject terminated the test as
a result of maximal exhaustion.
Submaximal Exercise
Each submaximal TM and EL exercise session included
a 5-minute warm-up, followed by 15 minutes of exercise at an
RPE of 12–13 on the Borg 15-point scale (10). The 5-minute
warm-up was utilized to provide a familiarization period for
the subjects to adjust the exercise intensity on each piece of
equipment to attain an intensity that was perceived to be at
an RPE level of 12–13 and was sustainable for the 15-minute
exercise session. Prior to participation in the exercise sessions
of this study, all participants were shown the Borg ratings of
perceived exertion scale as illustrated by Heyward (18) and
read the same description of how to rate perceived exertion
during exercise as described by Birk and Birk (8). During
exercise, subjects pointed to the number on the chart that
corresponded to their RPE. In a review, Dishman (11)
concluded that RPE is an acceptable method for regulating
exercise intensity across different modalities of exercise,
particularly when the RPE is between 10 and 16.
Furthermore, it has been observed that using RPE provide
acceptable control of exercise intensity when comparing TM
and EL (16). During the submaximal exercise session, the
treadmill grade was maintained at 0% and the crossramp
setting on the elliptical device was maintained at 10, so the
subjects only adjusted speed on
the treadmill or resistance on
the elliptical. After the warm-
up, expired air was measured
continuously for quantity, oxy-
gen, and carbon dioxide con-
tent (as explained previously)
and averaged every 20 seconds
throughout the 15-minute ex-
ercise session. Heart rate was
collected automatically every
15 seconds for each 15-minute
submaximal exercise session
using the same heart rate
monitor that was used for the
fitness testing. Ratings of per-
ceived exertion were collected
every 2 minutes throughout the
exercise session by having the
subjects point at a chart of the
Borg RPE scale. Following the
first exercise session, the subjects were allowed 15 minutes of
seated rest to allow for heart rate recovery before beginning
the subsequent exercise session.
Calculation of Energy Expenditure
Average RER was used with the total
_
VO
2
to calculate energy
expenditure (EE) in kJ from nonprotein RER fat and
carbohydrate oxidation using stoichiometric equations (14).
Statistical Analyses
Data were analyzed using SigmaStat 3.11 (Systat Software,
Point Richmond, CA, USA) with an alevel of p#0.05.
Descriptive data were analyzed for gender differences using
an independent sample t-test. A 2-way (gender 3mode)
repeated-measure analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to
analyze for differences in the submaximal exercise session
for
_
VO
2
, HR, RPE, and EE. Specific mean differences were
then identified using a Newman-Keuls post-hoc comparison.
Intraclass correlation coefficients were calculated using
techniques described by Bartko (5) for RPE using the RPE
during submaximal exercise and the RPE measured during
the fitness assessment at a corresponding oxygen consump-
tion. Data are presented as means 6SEM.
RESULTS
No gender-related difference was seen in regards to body
mass index, with both males and females falling in the over-
weight range (25–30 kg/m
2
; Table 1). Absolute (L/min
21
)
and relative (ml/kg
21
/min
21
)
_
VO
2
peak were significantly
higher (p,0.05) in the males for both modes of exercise, but
there were no mode-related differences in
_
VO
2
peak. No
significant differences were seen between genders or exercise
modes for either predicted or measured maximum heart rate.
During EL, the resistance was 7.2 61.3 for the females
and 8.9 60.9 for the males. During TM, the speed was
TABLE 1. Subject descriptive characteristics.
Male Female
Number of subjects (n) 9 9
Age (years) 21.6 60.3 20.6 60.4
Height (cm) 184.9 63.2 165.0 62.0*
Body mass (kg) 91.3 64.4 71.0 64.0*
Body mass index (kg/m
2
) 26.7 63.5 26.1 63.8
TM
_
VO
2
peak (ml/kg/min) 48.6 61.5 41.7 61.8*
TM
_
VO
2
peak (L/min) 4.4 60.1 2.9 60.1*
TM HR
Max
(beats/min) 198.6 62.8 197.9 61.6
EL
_
VO
2
peak (L/min) (ml/kg/min) 45.2 61.6 38.8 62.2*
EL
_
VO
2
peak (L/min) (L/min) 4.1 60.1 2.7 60.2*
EL HR
max
(beats/min) 200.8 62.5 198.9 61.4
TM = treadmill exercise; EL = elliptical exercise.
Data are presented as means 6standard error of the mean.
*Significant difference between genders (main effect; p,0.05).
VOLUME 24 | NUMBER 6 | JUNE 2010 | 1645
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5.8 60.3 miles/hour
21
for the females and 7.1 60.3
miles/hour
21
for the males.
There were no differences in RPE between TM and EL
(Figure 1). Average RPE during the submaximal exercise
sessions were significantly higher (main effect; p,0.05) in
the females (12.6 60.1 for EL and 12.4 60.1 for TM) than
the males (12.3 60.2 for EL and 12.1 60.1 for TM). There
were no gender 3mode differences in RPE. The intraclass
correlation coefficient for RPE was 0.89.
There were no differences in total oxygen consumption
between TM and EL (Figure 2). Overall, males consumed
(main effect; p,0.05) more total oxygen (34.9 62.2 L for
EL and 30.8 62.2 L for TM) than females (26.9 61.7 L for
EL and 24.1 61.8 L for TM) during the 15-minute exercise
sessions. There were no gender 3mode differences in total
oxygen consumption, although there was a trend (p= 0.079)
for a difference in total oxygen consumption between EL and
TM. Pooling the data for males and females, and using an
alpha level of 0.05 with a power of 80%, 47 total subjects
would be required to detect a difference in total oxygen
consumption between EL and TM. Females exercised at
a higher (p,0.05) percentage of
_
VO
2
peak than did males,
and EL elicited a higher (p,0.05) percentage of
_
VO
2
peak
than did TM. When expressed as a percentage of the
_
VO
2
peak achieved during maximal testing on the respective
device, males achieved a 71 63% during EL and 58 63%
during TM, whereas females achieved 82 64% during EL
and 68 64% during TM.
There were no differences in EE between TM and EL
(Figure 3). Overall, males experienced significantly
higher total EE (main effect; p,0.05) (171.9 610.5 kcal
for EL and 150.9 611.0 kcal for TM) than females (132.3 6
8.2 kcal for EL and 117.9 69.2 kcal for TM) during
the 15-minute exercise session on both TM and EL. There
were no gender 3mode differences for total EE, although
there was a trend (p= 0.064) for a difference in EE between
EL and TM. Pooling the data for males and females, and
using an alpha level of 0.05 with a power of 80%, 42 total
subjects would be required to detect a difference in total
oxygen consumption between EL and TM.
The mean heart rate for both genders during EL was higher
(main effect; p,0.05) than TM (Figure 4). Females experi-
enced a significantly higher (main effect; p,0.05) average
HR (169.2 65.4 beats/min
21
for EL and 152.9 66.1 beats/
min
21
for TM) than the males (157.0 65.1 beats/min
21
for
Figure 1. Rating of perceived exertion for each subject (males, n=9;
females, n= 9) while engaging in exercise on either a treadmill or elliptical
device for 15 minutes when using rating of perceived exertion to achieve
the same intensity of exercise on each device. Open circles connected by
dashed lines represent overall means. There were no differences resulting
from mode of exercise.
Figure 2. Total oxygen consumption for each subject (males, n=9;
females, n= 9) while engaging in exercise on either a treadmill or elliptical
device for 15 minutes when using rating of perceived exertion to achieve
the same intensity of exercise on each device. Open circles connected by
dashed lines represent overall means. There were no differences resulting
from mode of exercise.
Figure 3. Total energy expenditure for each subject (males, n=9;
females, n= 9) while engaging in exercise on either a treadmill or elliptical
device for 15 minutes when using rating of perceived exertion to achieve
the same intensity of exercise on each device. Open circles connected by
dashed lines represent overall means. There were no differences resulting
from mode of exercise.
1646
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
the
TM
Energy Expenditure: Treadmill vs. Elliptical
EL and 138.8 64.8 beats/min
21
for TM). Females exercised
at a higher (main effect; p,0.05) percentage of maximum
heart rate than did males, and EL elicited a higher (main
effect; p,0.05) percentage of maximal heart rate than did
TM. When expressed as a percentage of the maximal heart
rate achieved during maximal testing on the respective device,
males achieved 78 63% during EL and 70 63% maximal
heart rate during TM, whereas females achieved 85 65%
during EL and 77 63% maximal heart rate during TM.
Mean RER for both genders during EL was higher (main
effect; p,0.05) than TM (Figure 5). There were no gender
or gender 3mode differences in RER.
DISCUSSION
The primary findings of the present investigation indicate that
when healthy, nonphysically active, college-aged men and
women exercise at the same moderate level of perceived
exertion there are no differences in total oxygen consumption
or energy expenditure between exercise on a treadmill or
an elliptical exercise device. However, at the same level of
perceived exertion, exercise on an elliptical device results in a
higher heart rate, higher percent of maximal oxygen
consumption, and higher respiratory exchange ratio than
does exercise on a treadmill.
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends
that to improve cardiorespiratory fitness healthy adults
should exercise for 20–60 minutes at a moderate intensity
(17), which should correspond to an RPE of ;12–17 (10).
The use of perceived exertion to select an exercise intensity is
commonly used for describing exercise intensity, and
correlations of 0.80–0.90 have been found between the
15-point Borg scale of perceived exertion and heart rate (24).
The use of self-selected intensities of exercise has been
advocated as a means to increase adherence to an exercise
program (11,12). However, there is concern that by allowing
self-selection of intensity, participants may not choose an
intensity that is inadequate to produce health benefits (15).
There is considerable variation in the interpretation of RPE
based on not only the exercise stimulus, but also the health
and mode of the person exercising (10). Green et al. (16)
observed no difference in overall RPE between treadmill or
elliptical exercise when participants exercise at the same
heart rate in both modes, but the subjects perceived that the
elliptical was more difficult for their legs. Batte et al. (7)
observed that when exercising on an elliptical device, heart
rate and oxygen consumption were higher than what would
have been expected based on the rating of perceived exertion.
In agreement with Batte et al. (7), the present data indicate
that individuals exercising at an RPE of 12–13 exhibit a
higher heart rate and percent of maximal oxygen consump-
tion when exercising on an elliptical device compared to
a treadmill. Taken together, these finding suggest that when
the intensity of exercise is prescribed based on RPE, the
overall exercise stimulus from an elliptical device may be
higher than would occur if a treadmill were used.
The higher heart rate response to exercise on an elliptical
device compared to a treadmill could be the result of a
number of reasons. Heart rates tend to be higher when an
individual is exposed to an exercise stimulus to which they are
not accustomed (3), and so the experience of exercising on an
elliptical device may have caused increased heart rate during
exercise in the subjects because of their unfamiliarity with this
mode of exercise. Furthermore, when the arms are used to
support one’s body mass during exercise the heart rate is
higher than when the arms are less active (22), and the
subjects in the present investigation while exercising on the
elliptical device may have used their arms to support their
Figure 4. Mean heart rate for each subject (males, n= 9; females, n=9)
while engaging in exercise on either a treadmill or elliptical device for
15 minutes when using rating of perceived exertion to achieve the
same intensity of exercise on each device. Open circles connected by
dashed lines represent overall means. *Heart rate was higher (main effect;
p,0.05) during exercise on the elliptical device.
Figure 5. Mean respiratory exchange ratio for each subject (males, n=9;
females, n= 9) while engaging in exercise on either a treadmill or elliptical
device for 15 minutes when using rating of perceived exertion to achieve
the same intensity of exercise on each device. Open circles connected
by dashed lines represent overall means. *RER was higher (main effect;
p,0.05) during exercise on the elliptical device.
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body more than when walking on a treadmill, despite being
instructed to use their arms only to maintain balance. Heart
rate is frequently used to predict oxygen consumption, and
the higher heart rate in the subjects while exercising on the
treadmill may have contributed to the higher percent of
maximal oxygen consumption attained during elliptical
exercise (3).
Oxygen consumption during exercise may be influenced
by a number of factors. For instance, at the same speed of
walking, increasing or decreasing the stride length or stride
frequency from the usual preferred pattern will increase
oxygen consumption (25). Similarly, increasing the pedaling
speed while cycling can increase oxygen consumption even if
the power output is not altered (23). The stride frequency in
the present study was not controlled, so the higher percent of
_
VO
2
peak observed during elliptical exercise may have been
the result of a faster rate of foot turnover. However, there
were no differences between exercise modes in terms of total
oxygen consumption or energy expenditure.
In the present investigation,
_
VO
2
peak, total oxygen
consumption during submaximal exercise, and total energy
expenditure during submaximal exercise were higher in the
males than the females regardless of mode of exercise. These
findings are not unexpected, given the overall larger body
mass of the male subjects and the well-documented gender
differences in
_
VO
2
peak and absolute oxygen consumption
during exercise in males (19,21). The higher heart rate
exhibited by the female subjects are likely a result of the
higher RPE at which the female subjects exercised.
Egana and Donne (13) observed no difference in the
adaptations to exercise due to a 12-week exercise program in
participants who exercised on a treadmill, stair climber, or
elliptical device when heart rate and exercise duration were
the same between modes. In the present investigation, there
was a trend toward a significant difference in total oxygen
consumption (p= 0.079) and energy expenditure (p= 0.064)
between the modes of exercise. As exemplified with the
sample size calculations, it would be necessary to more than
double the number of subjects to detect a difference in total
oxygen consumption or energy expenditure. In agreement
with Egana and Donne (13), the lack of difference in the total
oxygen consumption or energy expenditure between exercise
on an elliptical device or a treadmill may suggest that the
long-term exercise stimulus would be the same and result in
the same adaptations.
Overall, the present data indicate that using an elliptical
device is a viable alternative when engaging in physical
activity for health enhancement. Although there are scant
data, it would appear that when exercising at a self-selected
rating of perceived exertion, using an elliptical device would
result in similar adaptations to using a treadmill.
PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS
The present data suggest that using an elliptical exercise
device as a component of an aerobic training program will
provide the same stimulus for developing cardiovascular
fitness as a treadmill. This is of fundamental importance for
novice and experienced exercisers who may desire variety in
their training program to avoid staleness. Furthermore, for
athletes in the many running competitions, an elliptical device
may provide an alternative for cross training during an active
resting phase in a periodized training program.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT
This project was supported with funds from the Summer
Student Research Program at the University of Nebraska at
Kearney.
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... First, there are no differences in VO 2 max and HR max between the treadmill, elliptical trainer, and the stepper. This adds to the results of previous studies that compared VO 2 max and HR max between the treadmill and elliptical (Brown et al., 2010;Dalleck et al., 2004;Mercer et al., 2001), as well as between the treadmill and the stepper (Moyna et al., 2001). Second, not unexpectedly since Physiological Load of Various Exercise Modalities VO 2 max was the same on all devices, all devices showed similar physiological load (VO 2 and HR) when exercising at submaximal intensities of 60%, 70%, and 80% of peak workload on each device. ...
... For example, when participants exercised at 70% of peak workload on the treadmill, this elicited a similar VO 2 and HR to that when exercising at 70% of peak level on an elliptical trainer and on a stepper. This is similar to the findings of Brown et al. (2010), in which VO 2 between the elliptical trainer and treadmill was shown to be similar during 15 min of submaximal exercise at an RPE of 12-13 (Brown et al., 2010). However, the authors' results of a similar HR between all modalities differ somewhat from those of Zeni et al. (1996), who found that HR was somewhat higher during treadmill running than exercise on the stepper and elliptical at RPE values of 11, 13, and 15 units, corresponding closely to the authors' exercise intensities of 60%, 70%, and 80%, respectively. ...
... For example, when participants exercised at 70% of peak workload on the treadmill, this elicited a similar VO 2 and HR to that when exercising at 70% of peak level on an elliptical trainer and on a stepper. This is similar to the findings of Brown et al. (2010), in which VO 2 between the elliptical trainer and treadmill was shown to be similar during 15 min of submaximal exercise at an RPE of 12-13 (Brown et al., 2010). However, the authors' results of a similar HR between all modalities differ somewhat from those of Zeni et al. (1996), who found that HR was somewhat higher during treadmill running than exercise on the stepper and elliptical at RPE values of 11, 13, and 15 units, corresponding closely to the authors' exercise intensities of 60%, 70%, and 80%, respectively. ...
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Elliptical trainers and steppers are proposed as useful exercise modalities in the rehabilitation of injured runners due to the reduced stress on muscles and joints when compared to running. This study compared the physiological responses to submaximal running (treadmill) with exercise on the elliptical trainer and stepper devices at three submaximal but identical workloads. Authors had 18 trained runners (male/female: N = 9/9, age: mean ± SD = 23 ± 3 years) complete randomized maximal oxygen consumption tests on all three modalities. Submaximal tests of 3 min were performed at 60%, 70%, and 80% of peak workload individually established for each modality. Breath-by-breath oxygen consumption, heart rate, fuel utilization, and energy expenditure were determined. The value of maximal oxygen consumption was not different between treadmill, elliptical, and stepper (49.3 ± 5.3, 48.0 ± 6.6, and 46.7 ± 6.2 ml·min ⁻¹ ·kg ⁻¹ , respectively). Both physiological measures (oxygen consumption and heart rate) as well as carbohydrate and fat oxidation differed significantly between the different exercise intensities (60%, 70%, and 80%) but did not differ between the treadmill, elliptical trainer, and stepper. Therefore, the elliptical trainer and stepper are suitable substitutes for running during periods when a reduced running load is required, such as during rehabilitation from running-induced injury.
... Age and gender were included as covariates due to the potential to confound. 27 All variables were standardized when entered in the models and results are presented as standardized beta coefficients. ...
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Moderate‐intensity physical activity is recommended for inactive adults with overweight/obesity (OW/OB). The objective of this study is to determine if differences exist in the selection of moderate intensity between inactive adults with juvenile‐onset (JO) and adult‐onset (AO) OW/OB. Participants (JO = 18, AO = 20) were stratified by onset and completed two separate 20‐minute moderate‐intensity exercise sessions on a treadmill and cycle ergometer (randomized order). Multiple linear regression was used to determine whether exercise intensity (average METS, % age‐predicted HRmax), self‐reported pleasure or exertion differed by onset, controlling for age and gender. On the treadmill, JO and AO participants selected an average intensity of (mean [SD]) 3.5 (0.9) and 3.7 (0.9) METS, and 64.0 (7.7) and 64.9 (7.5) % of age‐predicted HRmax, respectively. On the cycle, JO and AO participants selected an average intensity of 3.3 (0.9) and 3.3 (1.0) METS, and 65.2 (8.8) and 60.7 (7.2) % of age‐predicted HRmax. After adjustment, participant intensity selection did not significantly differ by obesity onset when walking or cycling. There were no significant differences in pleasure or perceived exertion by onset, however, perception of exertion was on the high‐end of moderate for both the cycle (13.0, 12.5) and treadmill (12.0, 12.1), in JO and AO participants, respectively. Perception of moderate intensity did not differ by obesity onset. Self‐selected intensity was at the low end of moderate for walking and cycling.
... Compared to leg pedaling bikes alone, the Assault bike's upper body ergometer provides additional muscle mass and subsequent stress to the cardiovascular system than leg pedaling alone, as evidenced by the increased heart rate rates (163-170 bpm) found in this study. Elliptical machines, which also include an upper body component, have been shown to elicit a higher heart rate than running on a treadmill (8). The average % HRmax of 91% in men and 93% in women exceeded the cutoff for high intensity exercise (60-84%) as described by the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (30,35). ...
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The demand for efficient and effective exercises has grown in concert with increased attention to fitness as a determinant of overall health. While past studies have examined the benefits traditional conditioning exercises, there have been few investigations of high intensity functional training (HIFT). The aim of this study was to measure the energy expenditure and relative intensity from participation in a signature, 35-minute group-based HIFT regimen. During the HIFT session, 13 volunteers (aged 23-59 years, 6 females) donned a portable breath-by-breath gas analyzer and a heart rate monitor. Mean caloric expenditure (528 ± 62 kcal), maximum heart rate (172 ± 8 bpm), and metabolic equivalents (12.2 ± 1.4 kcal/kg/h) were characterized as a vigorous-intensity activity according to the Compendium of Physical Activities guidelines. Moreover, implementing this high energy expenditure session twice weekly may comport with Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans weekly physical activity recommendations. HIFT training may provide time-efficient exercise for those seeking exercise-related health benefits.
... We chose an elliptical trainer for exercise in this study because it is a relatively low impact exercise machine that requires energy expenditure similar to a treadmill and also utilizes upper body muscles [11]. An elliptical trainer incorporates the torso and core musculature and can provide quantitative kcal information for each exercise session. ...
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Background context: Exercise therapy for low back pain has long been prescribed as one of the initial remedies for back pain. Traditional therapy is completed under a therapist's supervision and consists of lumbar stabilization, aerobic exercise and stretching exercises. Recent studies have explored treating back pain with aerobic exercise such as walking which can be done anywhere and without supervision which is lower cost and easily administered. Purpose: To assess a therapeutic dosage of aerobic exercise that is associated with pain reduction in persons experiencing low back pain. Study design: Case series. Participant description: Sixteen patients entered the study and twelve patients completed the study (mean ± SD: age 51 ± 11 years; weight 89.2 ± 16 kg). Subjects were included if they were ages 18-65, had chronic back pain lasting for more than 3 months and a score of greater than 30% on the Oswestry Low Back Disability Questionnaire. Methods: Subjects underwent a six-week exercise program using the elliptical trainer three times each week. Exercise duration was steadily increased each week for the length of the study. The total cumulative amount of work that coincided with significant reductions in chronic low back pain was then identified. Results: At 4 weeks, pain scores were significantly reduced from baseline (3.2 vs 4.7, p<0.0001). This significant pain reduction corresponded to an average of 30.8 Kcal/kg of body mass in cumulative work performed. Pain was significantly reduced by 21% and 32% on the Oswestry Questionnaire and the PROMIS 29 respectively. Conclusions: These pilot findings suggest that approximately 30.8 kcal/Kg of accumulated physiological work is a therapeutic "dosage" of exercise needed for significant reduction in chronic back pain. Clinicians can begin to use this benchmark for their oversight of rehabilitation programs to determine if an exercise program has been sufficiently intense and long enough in duration for managing their patients with chronic low back pain.
... kinematics; although, elliptical trainers do elicit a greater amount of hip and knee flexion compared to overground walking (Lu et al., 2007;Burnfield et al., 2010Burnfield et al., , 2011. In addition, elliptical trainers have similar metabolic demands to treadmill jogging during submaximal exercise based on peak oxygen uptake (Brown et al., 2010). Elliptical trainers elicit higher muscle activity of the gluteus maximus (GM) and vastus lateralis (VL), and lower muscle activity for the semitendinosus (ST) and medial gastrocnemius muscles compared to walking (Burnfield et al., 2010). ...
Article
Elliptical trainers that increase the inter-pedal distance may have potential benefits for knee osteoarthritis by decreasing the amount of knee varus. Modifying elliptical trainers with a converging footpath and reduced inter-pedal distance may be beneficial for reducing anterior knee pathology risk by decreasing knee valgus angles. Twenty-one college students participated in a single testing session. Participants exercised on two different elliptical trainers, one modified with a converging footpath and reduced inter-pedal width, and a standard elliptical trainer. Participants exercised for 2 min at three ramps incline at 120 strides per minute and constant work rate. Three-dimensional kinematics and electromyography of the dominant lower limb were recorded. Multiple 2 × 3 (Elliptical x Incline) ANOVAs with Bonferroni corrections were used to compare the two elliptical trainers at each incline for kinematics and muscle activity. The modified elliptical trainer displayed significantly decreased peak knee valgus (p = 0.031, η2p=0.234), peak knee flexion (p = 0.006, η2p=0.246), and interactions for peak knee flexion (p = 0.001, η2p=0.250) and vastus lateralis (p < 0.01, η2p=0.380) muscle activity compared to the standard elliptical trainer. The decreased peak knee valgus and flexion angles could be beneficial for reducing long-term injury risk for anterior knee pathologies.
... Pētījumos, kuros tika pārbaudīta ierīču precizitāte, galvenokārt rezultāti tiek salīdzināti ar netiešu kalorimetriju, izmantojot gāzu analizatorus. Dalībniekiem tika izmantotas dažādas ierīces, tika veiktas dažāda veida fiziskās aktivitātes, kuru laikā tika noteikts patērēto kaloriju daudzums (Bhammar et al., 2016;Brown et al., 2010;Chowdhury et al., 2017). ...
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Various technologies are increasingly used in sports and fitness classes. Portable fitness devices are the fastest growing fitness trend worldwide in the recent years (Thompson, 2019). More and more people are using fitness bracelets, smart watches, GPS tracking devices and fitness apps on mobile phones. One of the most commonly used functions in both portable fitness devices and stationary technology is the measurement of calories intake. The simplest, most convenient, and cheapest way to measure calorie intake (CI) is smart devices and custom mobile apps (Ramirez, 2018) that store and process data. However, not all of these devices are accurate and objective enough. Aim of the study: to find out and evaluate the calorie intake of a bicycle ergometer and various mobile apps under different physical loads. CI at various physical loads was determined using the MONARK ERGOMEDIC 839E cycling and applications. Comparing the measurement difference between the apps and the ergometer, it was found that the lowest load difference was for all apps, the least difference was for the POLAR app and the highest was for the SAMSUNG app, and the mid to higher load for the SAMSUNG app. App calorie intake figures are closer to those of the ergometer at peak load.
... Modified versions of common gym equipment known as an elliptical gait trainer utilizing several 4-bar linkages to generate a human-like movement of feet have been developed [6][7][8][9]. However, walking on these machines was found to be different from natural walking in terms of gait trajectory and neurophysiological parameters [11]. Figure 1. ...
... in higher peak oxygen consumption, average heart rate, and respiratory exchange ratio [4]. The elliptical also reduces weight-bearing compared to both over ground and treadmill walking and running [2] making it a lower impact exercise than walking and running. ...
Article
Abstract Objectives Many people are interested in tracking caloric intake and expenditure for weight management purposes. It is difficult to accurately track exercise expenditure, and people may rely on the information reported by exercise equipment as it is easily available. This study examined the caloric estimation differences between the algorithm used by an elliptical machine and an indirect calorimetry device. Methods Participants were 34 adults with 20 females (25 ± 8.47 years; 1.64 ± 0.08 m, 62.37 ± 10.81 kg) and 14 males (25.07 ± 5.46 years; 1.75 ± 0.06 m, 84.02 ± 12.33 kg). The caloric expenditure information from each device was compared to examine difference overall, in 5 minute intervals, and between males and females. Results There was a significant difference in overall caloric expenditure (t33 = 22.27, p < .001). The difference in caloric expenditure estimation methods was not significantly different for males and females (t32 = 2.01, p = .05). Conclusions Elliptical machines appear to overestimate caloric expenditure by a large number of calories. As is often stated, caution should be used when relying on exercise equipment for caloric expenditure information. Based on this data, individuals should expect caloric expenditure to be overestimated by approximately 100 calories each 30 min of exercise performed on elliptical equipment at moderate intensity. Keywords: Calories; Energy expenditure; Measurement; Technology; Weight management
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Maximal oxygen consumption ((V) over dotO(2)max) can be determined through multiple exercise modalities intended to elicit an individual's maximal aerobic exertion. Uphill treadmill running is considered the best modality for measuring (V) over dotO(2)max. Previous studies have examined correlations between treadmill and elliptical ergometer tests as well as the cycle ergometer, but none of the studies use an arm-leg elliptical ergometer (ALE). The purpose of this study was to develop an ALE (V) over dotO(2)max testing protocol and determine whether ALE produces valid (V) over dotO(2)max values as compared with the treadmill. Twelve undergraduate students (mean age: 20.8 years) completed 2 ((V) over dotO(2)max) tests, 1 on a treadmill and 1 on ALE. (V) over dotO(2)max correlation between ALE and treadmill was examined, and paired t-tests were run for (V) over dotO(2)max and maximum heart rate (HRmax). A strong positive correlation was found between ALE and treadmill (V) over dotO(2)max values (r = 0.84; p < 0.001). There were no differences between (V) over dotO(2)max values; however, HRmax values were higher on the treadmill than ALE (p = 0.003). Although future research is needed to examine the observed differences in HRmax between the 2 testing modalities and gender differences in muscle recruitment patterns, the results of this study suggest that ALE is a valid modality for ((V) over dotO(2)max) testing. This will be particularly valuable as a clinical tool to assess (V) over dotO(2)max in populations requiring low-impact exercise.
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While the popularity of non-impact cardiovascular cross trainers has led to an increase in the number of metabolic studies that use the equipment, there is a lack of scientific information regarding the effect of incorporating arm use and postural shifts on metabolic cost. The aim of this study was to determine the influence of using the arms and shifting the posture on metabolic cost during exercise on a non-elliptical cross trainer. Fifteen healthy subjects exercised at ~70% of their age-predicted heart rate maximum while heart rate (HR), oxygen consumption (VO2), and energy expenditure were measured. At a constant machine workload, the subjects exercised: (a) upright while unsupported; (b) upright while using the machine's handles; and (c) while leaning forward with the upper body anchored. Relative to working upright and unsupported, introducing arm use or a forward postural shift resulted in a significant increase in HR [73.4 ± 4.81% vs. 76.4 ± 4.51% (P=0.01) and 76.9 ± 5.92% (P<0.01)], VO2 [23.37 ± 3.53 mL·min-1·kg-1 vs. 24.69 ± 3.67 (P=0.001) and 25.11 ± 3.74 (P<0.001)], and derived energy expenditure [9.126 ± 2.09 kcal·min-1 vs. 9.674 ± 2.16 (P<0.001) and 9.826 ± 2.07 (P<0.001)]. These results suggest that changes in user-machine interaction at a constant workload can have a significant, albeit small to moderate effect (d=0.258 - 0.649) on metabolic cost on this particular cross trainer.
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Over the last 20 years, heart rate monitors (HRMs) have become a widely used training aid for a variety of sports. The development of new HRMs has also evolved rapidly during the last two decades. In addition to heart rate (HR) responses to exercise, research has recently focused more on heart rate variability (HRV). Increased HRV has been associated with lower mortality rate and is affected by both age and sex. During graded exercise, the majority of studies show that HRV decreases progressively up to moderate intensities, after which it stabilises. There is abundant evidence from cross-sectional studies that trained individuals have higher HRV than untrained individuals. The results from longitudinal studies are equivocal, with some showing increased HRV after training but an equal number of studies showing no differences. The duration of the training programmes might be one of the factors responsible for the versatility of the results. HRMs are mainly used to determine the exercise intensity of a training session or race. Compared with other indications of exercise intensity, HR is easy to monitor, is relatively cheap and can be used in most situations. In addition, HR and HRV could potentially play a role in the prevention and detection of overtraining. The effects of overreaching on submaximal HR are controversial, with some studies showing decreased rates and others no difference. Maximal HR appears to be decreased in almost all ‘overreaching’ studies. So far, only few studies have investigated HRV changes after a period of intensified training and no firm conclusions can be drawn from these results. The relationship between HR and oxygen uptake (V̇O2) has been used to predict maximal oxygen uptake (V̇O2max). This method relies upon several assumptions and it has been shown that the results can deviate up to 20% from the true value. The HR-V̇O2 relationship is also used to estimate energy expenditure during field conditions. There appears to be general consensus that this method provides a satisfactory estimate of energy expenditure on a group level, but is not very accurate for individual estimations. The relationship between HR and other parameters used to predict and monitor an individual’s training status can be influenced by numerous factors. There appears to be a small day-to-day variability in HR and a steady increase during exercise has been observed in most studies. Furthermore, factors such as dehydration and ambient temperature can have a profound effect on the HR-V̇O2 relationship.
Article
Objective. —To compare the rates of energy expenditure at given rating of perceived exertion (RPE) levels among 6 different indoor exercise machines.Design. —Repeated measures design.Participants. —Healthy young-adult volunteers, including 8 men and 5 women. Interventions.—Subjects underwent a 4-week habituation period to become familiar with the RPE scale and exercise on an Airdyne, a cross-country skiing simulator, a cycle ergometer, a rowing ergometer, a stair stepper, and a treadmill. Following habituation, each subject completed an exercise test with each exercise machine. The exercise test comprised 3 stages of 5 minutes at self-selected work rates corresponding to RPE values of 11 (fairly light), 13 (somewhat hard), and 15 (hard). Oxygen consumption, from which the rate of energy expenditure was calculated, was measured during the last minute of each 5-minute exercise stage. Heart rate was measured during the last minute of each stage of the exercise test, and blood lactate levels were obtained immediately after each exercise stage.Main Outcome Measure. —Rate of energy expenditure at specified RPE values.Results. —Rates of energy expenditure at a given RPE varied by 1093 kJ/h (261 kcal/h) for the exercise machines. The treadmill induced higher (P<.05) rates of energy expenditure for fixed RPE values than all other exercise machines. The cross-country skiing simulator, rowing ergometer, and stair stepper induced higher (P<.05) rates of energy expenditure than the Airdyne and cycle ergometer. Heart rate varied significantly (P<.001) among exercise machines, with highest values associated with the treadmill and the stair stepper. Lactate concentration varied significantly (P=.004), with highest values associated with use of the stair stepper and the rowing ergometer.Conclusions. —Under the conditions of the study, the treadmill is the optimal indoor exercise machine for enhancing energy expenditure when perceived exertion is used to establish exercise intensity.(JAMA. 1996;275:1424-1427)
Article
The purpose of this study was to compare oxygen consumption (VO 2 ) and energy expenditure alter 20 min of self-selected submaximal exercise for four modes of exercise. Eighteen subjects (9 male and 9 female) first completed a test of VO 2max during treadmill running. On separate days. subjects then completed 20 min submaximal treadmill running (TR), simulated cross-country skiing (XC). cycle ergometry (CE), and aerobic riding (AR) exercise. Total VO 2 , and energy expenditure were significantly higher for TR than all other modes for both males and females (43,6 ± 10.4, 39.1 ± 9.7, 36.1 ± 7.6. 28.4 ± 6.1 LO 2 , for TR, XC, CE. and AR, respectively. P < 0.0001). For males and females, heart rate was similar during TR and XC and lower during CE and AR (154,8 ± 14.2. 152.6 ± 13.1, 143.4 ± 14.9, and 126.2 ± 12.0 beatsmin for TR. XC. CE, and AR, respectively. P < 0.0001). Compared with females, males had significantly greater vO 2 (P < 0.005) and energy expenditure (P < 0.004), while females had higher heart rates (P < 0.003). Ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) were not different between TR. XC, and CE, but were significantly lower during AR (13.4 ± 1.3. 13.6 ± 0.8), 13.2 ± 0.9. and 12.6 ± 1.0 for TR, XC, CE, and AR. respectively, P < 0.003). TR elicited the greatest vO 2 and energy expenditure during self-selected exercise despite an RPE similar to XC and CE. Therefore, treadmill exercise may be the modality of choice for individuals seeking to improve cardiorespiratory endurance and expend a larger numher of kjoules.
Article
ACSM Position Stand on the Appropriate Intervention Strategies for Weight Loss and Prevention of Weight Regain for Adults. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 33, No. 12, 2001, pp. 2145–2156. In excess of 55% of adults in the United States are classified as either overweight (body mass index = 25–29.9 kg·m−2) or obese (body mass index ≥ 30 kg·m−2). To address this significant public health problem, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends that the combination of reductions in energy intake and increases in energy expenditure, through structured exercise and other forms of physical activity, be a component of weight loss intervention programs. An energy deficit of 500–1000 kcal·d−1 achieved through reductions in total energy intake is recommended. Moreover, it appears that reducing dietary fat intake to <30% of total energy intake may facilitate weight loss by reducing total energy intake. Although there may be advantages to modifying protein and carbohydrate intake, the optimal doses of these macronutritents for weight loss have not been determined. Significant health benefits can be recognized with participation in a minimum of 150 min (2.5 h) of moderate intensity exercise per week, and overweight and obese adults should progressively increase to this initial exercise goal. However, there may be advantages to progressively increasing exercise to 200–300 min (3.3–5 h) of exercise per week, as recent scientific evidence indicates that this level of exercise facilitates the long-term maintenance of weight loss. The addition of resistance exercise to a weight loss intervention will increase strength and function but may not attenuate the loss of fat-free mass typically observed with reductions in total energy intake and loss of body weight. When medically indicated, pharmacotherapy may be used for weight loss, but pharmacotherapy appears to be most effective when used in combination with modifications of both eating and exercise behaviors. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that the strategies outlined in this position paper be incorporated into interventions targeting weight loss and the prevention of weight regain for adults.
Article
Presents corrected equations for the author's previous paper (see record 1966-11636-001) which suggested a procedure for estimating the reliability of sets of ratings in terms of intraclass correlation coefficients. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)