Comparison study of treadmill versus arm ergometry

Clin Physiol Funct Imaging. 2011 Jul;31(4):326-31. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-097X.2011.01014.x. Epub 2011 Mar 6.


The Bruce treadmill test is used worldwide to assess cardiovascular disease. However, because of the high increments of intensity between the stages of this test, it is not best suited to a number of populations. Therefore, the aim of the study was to determine the difference between physiological outcomes of the arm crank test and Bruce treadmill test and to provide a regression equation to account for this. Thirty subjects (16 men and 14 women) performed both an arm crank test and the Bruce treadmill test, on two separate days, in a random order. Peak values of oxygen uptake (VO(2) ), respiratory exchange ratio (RER), ventilation rate (V(E) ), heart rate (HR) and ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) were recorded. Arm crank VO(2peak) and peak V(E) were significantly lower compared with treadmill VO(2peak) and peak VE, in both men and women (P<0·001). Arm crank HR(peak) was significantly lower than treadmill HR(peak) in men (P<0·001). The following is the regression equation to estimate treadmill: VO(2peak) = 0·8*arm crank VO(2peak) + 0·019*body weight + 2·025*gender-0·038*gender*body weight + 0·852, with gender being '0' for males and '1' for females. This model has a r(2) of 0·832 (SEE = 0·471). This strong correlation indicates that an accurate prediction of treadmill VO(2peak) can be made by arm crank VO(2peak) , which is a good estimate of a person's maximal oxygen uptake (VO(2max) ). Therefore, the arm crank test can be of great importance for evaluation of cardiovascular disease in many people.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arm / physiology*
  • Exercise Test / classification*
  • Exercise Test / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leg / physiology*
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology*
  • Physical Exertion / physiology*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Task Performance and Analysis*