Gymnastik- och idrottshögskolan, GIH

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Perceived exertion is lower at equal mean exercise intensities when cycling in field versus indoors
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Physical Activity and Health. (Rörelse, hälsa och miljö)
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Physiology, Nutrition and Biomechanics. (Rörelse, hälsa och miljö)
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2024 (English)In: PLOS ONE, E-ISSN 1932-6203Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

Purpose: Previous assessments of rated perceived exertion (RPE) during submaximal running have been shown to be lower in an environment with a high degree of external stimuli coupled to naturalistic green and blue exposures than compared to a laboratory with a low degree of stimuli. It is therefore valuable to explore whether the same applies while cycling in a laboratory versus in cycle commuting environments with high levels of stimuli from both traffic and suburban-urban elements. 

Methods: Twenty commuter cyclists participated. They underwent measurements of heart rate (HR) and oxygen uptake (V̇O2) as well as assessments of RPE according to the 6-20 Borg scale for breathing and legs, respectively, while cycling in both laboratory and field conditions. The physiological exercise intensities in field were measured with a validated portable metabolic system. Three submaximal cycle ergometer workloads in the laboratory were used to establish linear regressions between RPE and % of HR reserve (%HRR) and %V̇O2max, separately. Based on these regressions, RPE levels from the laboratory were predicted and used for comparisons with RPE levels assessed at the participants’ individual cycle commuting trips at equal exercise intensities.  

Results: In all comparisons, the predicted RPE levels based on the laboratory cycling were significantly higher than the RPE levels assessed in cycle commuting at equal intensities (67% of HRR; 65% of V̇O2max). For breathing, the mean RPE levels were; 14.0-14.2 in the laboratory and 12.6 in the field. The corresponding levels for legs were; 14.0-14.2 and 11.5.

Conclusion: Cycle commuters perceive a lower exertion during their daily cycle commuting trips compared to ergometer cycling in a laboratory at equal exercise intensities. This may be due to a higher degree of external stimuli in the field setting, although other possible causes cannot be ruled out.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2024.
Keywords [en]
Rated perceived exertion; Oxygen uptake; heart rate; cycling; Indoor; Route environment; Commuting; Traffic environment
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject
Medicine/Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-7710OAI: oai:DiVA.org:gih-7710DiVA, id: diva2:1782927
Projects
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Funder
Swedish Transport AdministrationAvailable from: 2023-07-18 Created: 2023-07-18 Last updated: 2024-01-18Bibliographically approved

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