14. Effect of Altitude on VO2 max and Power Production

Matthew Young Hanover College
Faculty Sponsor(s): Bryant Stamford Hanover College
At high altitude the ability to consume and utilize oxygen decreases. As altitude increases, there are challenges associated with saturating the hemoglobin of red blood cells adequately. In turn, less oxygen is delivered per unit volume of blood circulated which necessitates an increased heart rate as compensation. This study was designed to explore physiologic challenges associated with progressive increases in altitude and ranging from sea level control of 50 feet to 10000 feet.
Methods: Six physically active male collegiate athletes participated in four randomly assigned cycling trials at four different simulated altitudes of 50, 6000, 8000 and 10000 feet. Increased altitude was simulated with a hypoxic environment generator that reduced the percentage of oxygen in the air. Cycling trials lasted 20-minutes with increasing workloads every four minutes. Heart rate, Ratings of Perceived Exertion (RPE), and Oxygen saturation were recorded every minute during the trials. This study was conducted with approval by the Hanover College Institute Review Board
Results: Data collection is ongoing and nearing completion. Initial data and pilot testing indicate that altitude has a limited effect to decrease oxygen saturation and increase heart rate and RPE until a threshold of 8000 feet is reached at which point performance drops substantially.
Pharmacy, Health Sciences, & Exercise Science
Poster Presentation

When & Where

Irwin Library Lower Level