Graduation Year

2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Physical Education and Exercise Science

Major Professor

Bill Campbell, Ph.D.

Keywords

Exercise, Oxygen consumption, Heart rate, Body Togs®, Energy expenditure

Abstract

The growing public health burden associated with insufficient physical activity has resulted in the development of numerous health initiatives and products aimed at stabilizing and reversing the negative trends reported in epidemiological literature. A relatively novel product that has only recently made its way to the market are wearable weights called Body Togs®. These products are designed to be worn on the lower legs and arms along with regular clothing as a means to increase caloric expenditure. However, no research to date has tested the efficacy of this product. PURPOSE: Compare the physiological responses within bouts of aerobic exercise that vary on intensity and the presence of wearable weights. METHODS: Seventeen (11 female, 6 male, mean age = 24 years ± 5.92) healthy volunteers were tested for aerobic fitness on a treadmill to determine VO2 max (mean = 42.68 ml x kg-1 x min-1).

Participants then completed eight 30-minute walking trials on a treadmill while oxygen consumption (VO2) and heart rate (HR) were monitored while walking at different speeds and with varying combination of upper and lower body wearable weights. The design included two intensities (slow walking and brisk walking) and four conditions (no weights, arm weights, leg weights, and arm and leg weights) for a total of eight experimental trials. RESULTS: Data were analyzed using ANOVA and pair-wise comparisons. Analyses revealed that VO2 was significantly lower without the wearable weights in comparison to wearing both upper and lower weights in the slow walk trial (P < 0.001; ES = 0.69) and also during the brisk walk trial (P < 0.001; ES = 0.62). HR was significantly higher during the brisk walk trials with togs on both the arms and legs (P=0.029, ES=0.31). CONCLUSIONS: Findings suggest that exercising while using wearable weights increases energy expenditure and has minimal impact on HR.

PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: This finding suggests that physical activity associated with daily living could be enhanced through the wearing of the Body Tog® weights that can be worn under clothing. Additionally, wearing the togs during exercise increases energy cost of walking, therefore allowing for possible weight loss applications.

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