The physiological effects of hiking at sea level and altitude
Gruber, Jill C.
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The significance of this project was to determine the physiological responses that occur in apparently healthy individuals when hiking for leisure at altitude. This information was intended to allow for a greater understanding of cardiorespiratory responses in leisure hikers to be used as commonplace knowledge for the general public. Subjects were required to hike two miles at a 10% grade on three separate occasions, one habituation trial, one hike while breathing sea level air, and one hike while inspiring a gas mixture of 16% O2. Three separate VO2max tests, using the Balke protocol, were also completed by subjects, one habituation trial, one max test while breathing sea level air, and one max test while inspiring a gas mixture of 16% O2. Significant decreases (p?0.05) in oxygen saturation and exercise speed when compared to distance were observed during subject exercise while inspiring the 16% O2 gas mixture. Heart rate significantly increased (p?0.05) during subject exercise while inspiring the 16% O2 gas mixture. Exercising under hypoxic conditions simulating 8,000 feet above sea level was associated with statistically significant decreases in oxygen saturation and exercise speed, along with statistically significant increases in heart rate.
Altitude, influence of
Oxygen in the body -- measurement
Hiking -- Physiological aspects