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A Journal on Internal Medicine and Pharmacology

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Gazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2012 December;171(6):785-93

language: English

Physiological responses in ski tourers while walking with support of an elastic constraint

Haudum A. 1, 2, Birklbauer J. 1, 2, Müller E. 1, 2

1 Department of Sport Science and Kinesiology, University of Salzburg, Austria;
2 Christian Doppler Laboratory ‘Biomechanics in Skiing’, Salzburg, Austria


AIM: It was our objective to assess the effect of the supportive use of elastic cords (due to their influences on reactive phenomena) on the energy cost of a 30 min and 1.5 hrs-ski touring trial, respectively.
METHODS: Seventeen trained male and female ski tourers performed two treadmill walking trials of 30 min each at an individually a priori defined speed (range 3-5 km∙h-1) at 24% rade. Additionally, 3 of the participating males also did two 1.5 hr-walks. The cords were attached from the front of the hip to the toe piece of the binding, with the length being individually adjusted to achieve similar support by the cords. To estimate differences in physiological response and individual exertion, measurements included breath-to-breath spiro-ergometry, lactate, heart rate and rate of perceived exertion.
RESULTS: There were no significant changes in group means of the physiological parameters for the 30-min intervals; however, ratings of perceived exertion were significantly lower during cord walking. For the longer measurements, data hint towards a supportive effect of the cords as physiological data are below normal walking data and ratings were again lower.
CONCLUSION: While 30 min walking with elastic cords does not demonstrate a difference in measured physiological response, perceived exertion is affected. This perceived difference may only be noticeable when walking for a longer period of time, which as indicated by long-term experimental data is indicative of a ski tour. This may also hint towards a potential utilization of the supportive forces produced by the cords.

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