Non-linear relationship between oxygen uptake and power output in the Astrand nomogram-old data revisited

J Physiol Pharmacol. 2007 Jun;58(2):265-73.


For the last decade there have been considerable discussion concerning the linearity / non-linearity of the oxygen uptake (V(O2)) - power output (W) relationship with strong experimental evidence of non-linearity provided mainly by breath-by-breath measurements. In this study, we attempted to answer the question whether the V(O2) - W relationship in the Astrand nomogram, as presented in the Textbook of Work Physiology, P.-O. Astrand et al. (2003), page 281, based on the Douglas bag method, is indeed linear, as stated by the authors before, or if a change point in V(O2), described by Zoladz et al. (1998) Eur J Appl Physiol 78: 369-377, can possibly be detected in those data. The V(O2) - W data were taken from the Astrand nomogram referenced above and from the Table 9.5 on page 282 in the same reference and tested for the presence of the change point in V(O2), using our two-phase model (see the reference above). In the first phase, a linear V(O2) - W relationship was assumed, whereas in the second one (above the so-called change point) an additional increase in V(O2) above the values expected from the linear model was allowed. It was found that in the data taken from the Astrand nomogram (data for men), as well as in the data taken from the Table 9.5, statistically significant change points in V(O2) were present at the power output of 150 W. The documentation of the presence of a change point in the V(O2) - W relationship in the Astrand data provides further evidence for the existence of a non-linearity in the V(O2) - W relationship in incremental exercise tests of humans, also in V(O2) data based upon the Douglas bag method.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Heart Rate*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology*