Allison, K. F., Akins, J. S., Sell, T. C., Abt, J. P., Lovalekar, M. T., Crawfor, K., & Lephart, S. M. (2012). Heart rate and postural stability recovery are similar after aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Presentation 1453 at the 59th Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, San Francisco, California; May 29-June 2, 2012.

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"Postural stability assessment is an important component of sideline concussion testing and fatigue may influence postural stability independent of neurological insult. While studies found that postural stability is disrupted after both anaerobic and aerobic exercise, the relationship between heart rate and postural stability recovery following exercise has not been determined."

This study compared postural stability and heart rate following maximal anaerobic and aerobic exercise. Active Ss (M = 8, F = 5) participated in two test sessions, when postural stability and heart rate were assessed using a single-leg balance task prior to and following anaerobic or aerobic exercise every two minutes for 20 minutes. Dominant-leg balance was measured with eyes open while standing on a foam pad on top of a force plate. A Wingate cycle power test induced anaerobic fatigue and a graded treadmill exercise test induced aerobic fatigue. Standard deviations of ground reaction forces were compared to baseline in the anterior-posterior, medial-lateral, and vertical directions during post-fatigue time intervals to determine postural stability recovery for each condition.

Anterior-posterior instability was greater than baseline for up to eight minutes post-fatigue for anaerobic and aerobic conditions; medial-lateral and vertical instabilities were greater than baseline at zero minutes post-fatigue for the two conditions. Maximal heart rate achieved during aerobic exercise was significantly greater than that displayed in anaerobic fatigue. There were no significant differences in %HRmax found between the anaerobic and aerobic fatigue conditions at any post-fatigue time interval.

Implication. Postural stability and heart rate recovered similarly following anaerobic and aerobic fatigue. "Since postural stability recovered by 10 minutes post-fatigue with %HRmax at ~52.7%, future research should investigate the potential of using %HRmax to determine when fatigue may be ruled out as a confounding factor during sideline concussion postural stability assessment following intense sporting activities."

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