Faculté des sciences

Reliability of low‐power cycling efficiency in energy expenditure phenotyping of inactive men and women

Fares, Elie-Jacques ; Isacco, Laurie ; Monnard, Cathriona R. ; Miles-Chan, Jennifer L. ; Montani, Jean-Pierre ; Schutz, Yves ; Dulloo, Abdul G.

In: Physiological Reports, 2017, vol. 5, no. 9, p. e13233

Standardized approaches to assess human energy expenditure (EE) are well defined at rest and at moderate to high‐intensity exercise, but not at light intensity physical activities energetically comparable with those of daily life (i.e., 1.5–4 times the resting EE, i.e., 1.5–4 METs). Our aim was to validate a graded exercise test for assessing the energy cost of low‐intensity dynamic... More

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    Summary
    Standardized approaches to assess human energy expenditure (EE) are well defined at rest and at moderate to high‐intensity exercise, but not at light intensity physical activities energetically comparable with those of daily life (i.e., 1.5–4 times the resting EE, i.e., 1.5–4 METs). Our aim was to validate a graded exercise test for assessing the energy cost of low‐intensity dynamic work in physically inactive humans, that is, those who habitually do not meet the guidelines for moderate‐to‐vigorous aerobic physical activity levels. In healthy and inactive young men and women (n = 55; aged 18–32 years), EE was assessed in the overnight‐fasted state by indirect calorimetry at rest and during graded cycling between 5 and 50W for 5 min at each power output on a bicycle ergometer. Repeatability was investigated on three separate days, and the effect of cadence was investigated in the range of 40–90 rpm. Within the low power range of cycling, all subjects perceived the exercise test as “light” on the Borg scale, the preferred cadence being 60 rpm. A strong linearity of the EE‐power relationship was observed between 10 and 50 W for each individual (r > 0.98), and the calculation of delta efficiency (DE) from the regression slope indicated that DE was similar in men and women (~29%). DE showed modest inter‐individual variability with a coefficient of variation (CV) of 11%, and a low intra‐individual variability with a CV of ~ 5%. No habituation or learning effect was observed in DE across days. In conclusion, the assessment of the efficiency of low power cycling by linear regression – and conducted within the range of EE observed for low‐intensity movements of everyday life (1.5–4 METs) – extends the capacity for metabolic phenotyping in the inactive population.