The redistribution of blood flow (BF) in the abdominal viscera during right-legged knee extension-flexion exercise at very low intensity [peak heart rate (HR), 76 beats/min] was examined by using Doppler ultrasound. While sitting, subjects performed a right-legged knee extension-flexion exercise every 6 s for 20 min. BF was measured in the upper abdominal aorta (Ao), right common femoral artery (RCFA), and left common femoral artery (LCFA). Visceral BF (BFVis) was determined by the equation [BFAo - (BFRCFA + BFLCFA)]. A comparison with the change in BF (DeltaBF) preexercise showed a greater increase in DeltaBFRCFA than in DeltaBFAo during exercise. This resulted in a reduction of BFVis to 56% of its preexercise value or a decrease in flow by 1,147 +/- 293 (+/-SE) ml/min at the peak workload. Oxygen consumption correlated positively with DeltaBFAo, DeltaBFRCFA, and DeltaBFLCFA but inversely with DeltaBFVis during exercise and recovery. Furthermore, BFVis (% of preexercise value) correlated inversely with both an increase in HR (r = -0.89), and percent peak oxygen consumption (r = -0.99). This study demonstrated that, even during very-low-intensity exercise (HR <90 beats/min), there was a significant shift in BF from the viscera to the exercising muscles.