Metabolic and Hemodynamic Responses to Walking with Shoulder-Worn Exercise Weights: A Brief Report

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This study examined the acute physiological responses to steady-rate walking with additional weight carried at shoulder level. Sixteen healthy subjects completed two treadmill walking bouts with and without a 4.54-kg shoulder-worn load carriage system in place. Addition of the external shoulder weights resulted in small increases in level walking oxygen uptake (+0.44 ml · kg-1 · min-1; +0.03 L · min-1) and minute ventilation volumes (+0.81 L · min-1) (p <0.05). RER values, heart rate (+3 beats · min-1), and blood pressure responses [systolic blood pressure (SBP) + 4.5 mm Hg, diastolic blood pressure (DBP) + 1.3 mm Hg] were not significantly changed (p > 0.05). These findings indicate that the efficacy of shoulder-worn exercise weights to augment the physiological demand of walking exercise is marginal at best.

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