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Scaling peak ˙VO2 for differences in body size

WELSMAN, JOANNE R.; ARMSTRONG, NEIL; NEVILL, ALAN M.; WINTER, EDWARD M.; KIRBY, BRIAN J.

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: February 1996 - Volume 28 - Issue 2 - pp 259-265
Special Communications: Methods

This paper examined the influence of different statistical modeling techniques on the interpretation of peak ˙VO2 data in groups of prepubertal, circumpubertal, and adult males (group 1M, N = 29; group 2M, N = 26; group 3M, N = 8) and females (group 1F,N = 33; group 2F, N = 34; group 3F, N = 16). Conventional comparisons of the simple per-body-mass ratio(ml·kg-1·min-1) revealed no significant differences between the three male groups (P < 0.05). In females, a decline in ˙VO2 between group 2F and 3F was observed (P< 0.05). Both linear and log-linear (allometric) models revealed significant increases across all three male groups for peak ˙VO2 adjusted for body mass (P < 0.05). In females these scaling models identified a significantly lower peak ˙VO2 in group 1F versus groups 2F and 3F (P < 0.05). Based upon the common mass exponent identified (b = 0.80, SE = 0.04), power function ratios(y·mass0.80) were generated and the logarithms of these compared. Again, results indicated a progressive increase in peak˙VO2 across groups 1M to 3M (P < 0.05) and an increase between groups 1F and 2F (P < 0.05). Incorporating stature into the allometric equation reduced the mass exponent to 0.71 (SE = 0.06) with the contribution of the stature exponent shown to be 0.44 (SE = 0.20). These results indicate that conventional ration standards do not adequately account for body size differences when investigating functional changes in peak˙VO2.

Children's Health and Exercise Research Centre, University of Exeter, Exeter, EX1 2LU, UNITED KINGDOM

Submitted for publication March 1993.

Accepted for publication April 1995.

This work was supported by grants from the British Heart Foundation and the University of Exeter.

Current affiliations: Joanne R. Welsman and Neil Armstrong, Children's Health and Exercise Research Centre, University of Exeter, Heavitree Road, Exeter, EX1 2LU, U.K.; Brian J. Kirby, Postgraduate Medical School, University of Exeter, Barrack Road, Exeter, EX2 5DW, U.K.; Edward M. Winter, School of Humanities, Sport and Education, De Montfort University Bedford, Lansdowne Road, Bedford, MK40 2BZ, U.K.; Alan M. Nevill, School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, B15 2TT, U.K.

Address for correspondence: Dr. Joanne Welsman, Children's Health and Exercise Research Centre, University of Exeter, Heavitree Road, Exeter, EX1 2LU, U.K.

©1996The American College of Sports Medicine