Ventilatory response of moderately obese women to submaximal exercise

Int J Obes. 1991 Jan;15(1):59-65.


To investigate the effect of moderate obesity on ventilatory responses to graded exercise, we compared the ventilatory responses of ten moderately obese (35 +/- 5 percent body fat) and nine leaner women (22 +/- 2 percent body fat) during walking on a treadmill with incremental increases in percent grade. Speed remained constant at 3.0 mph. In the obese women, VO2 in l/min and ml/FFW/min, fb (b/min), VE (l/min), and HR were significantly greater (P less than 0.05) at all four absolute workloads. At 10.0 and 12.5 percent grade, VO2 (ml/kg/min) was smaller and VE/VO2 was greater in the obese women. The difference in VE/VO2 suggests a lower ventilatory threshold for the obese women. Percent VO2 max and R (VCO2/VO2) were significantly different at 12.5 percent grade only. When VO2 was divided by HR (oxygen pulse), the two groups were not significantly different at any of the four workloads tested. The groups were compared further at workloads representing approximately 55, 65, 75, and 85 percent of VO2 max. HR was not significantly different at any of the four relative exercise intensities. VE was significantly greater in the obese at 85 percent of maximum only (P less than 0.05) and fb was significantly greater at 55, 75, and 85 percent of maximum. Whereas cardiorespiratory responses of moderately obese women are increased at absolute workloads when compared to that of leaner women, HR is similar at comparable intensities of exercise. VE is also similar at comparable intensities of exercise below ventilatory threshold but fb is greater. The effect of the higher fb on exercise tolerance is unknown.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Volume Measurements
  • Obesity / physiopathology*
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Respiration / physiology*
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Statistics as Topic