Turley, K. R., & Wilmore, J. H. (1996). Cardiovascular responses to treadmill and cycle ergometer exercise in children and adults. Medicine and Science in Exercise and Sports, 28(5), Supplement abstract 70.

Submaximal cardiovascular responses at a given rate of work on a treadmill and cycle ergometer were compared between children (M = 12; F = 12) and adults (M = 12; F = 12).

Cardiac output was significantly lower, but heart rate, total peripheral resistance, and stroke volume were significantly higher, in children of both sexes than comparable adults in both forms of exercise.

The smaller amount of muscle mass in children would be stressed to a relatively greater extent than in adults. Greater metabolic by-products and heat would be produced per unit of muscle which would: a) increase the amount of oxygen liberated from hemoglobin in the muscle, and b) increase vasodilation of the arteries entering the muscles. Both these effects contribute to a higher a-vO2 difference in children in exercise.

Implications. Submaximal cardiovascular responses are different between children and adults. These differences are related to smaller hearts and less total muscle volume in children. These differences are observable irrespective of the form of exercise.

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