2004 Student Research Conference:
17th Annual Student Research Conference

Human Potential and Performance

Validation of NASA Sub-maximal Exertion Test to Predict Peak VO2
Joshua M. Grahlman
Dr. Alex J. Koch, Faculty Mentor

NASA has an exercise protocol in place for reducing the incidence of decompression sickness. This protocol is set at 75% peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak). Unfortunately, a pre-flight max test must be done to determine the VO2peak. NASA’s protocol incorporates a VO2peak value based on a sub-maximal test [90% of the astronauts’ age-predicted max heart rate (HR)]. The protocol has not been validated. This study attempted to validate the NASA protocol. Healthy college-age men and women were recruited to perform two graded exercise tests (GXT) on a cycle ergometer. One GXT was completed until volitional fatigue. The other GXT followed the same protocol; only it was terminated at 90% of the subjects’ age-predicted max HR. VO2peak values from the two tests were compared using a paired samples t-test. The results indicated no difference between actual max VO2peak and VO2peak estimated from 90% max HR.

Keywords: NASA, Decompression, sickness, VO2peak, cycle ergometer

Topic(s):Health Science

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 32-2
Location: VH 1000
Time: 2:30

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