Background/Purpose The purpose of the study was to determine whether the ACSM metabolic calculations for walking are accurate in college aged females. First published by the American College of Sports Medicine in 1975, we are not aware of any studies which have examined whether or not the ACSM metabolic walking formulas are accurate in college aged females.
Method 27 college aged women, 20.83 +1.32 years volunteered to participate in the study. Subjects walked on a motor driven treadmill at 3.2 mph at grades of 1.7%, 4.1% and 5.8%. Oxygen consumption was measured continuously with a portable oxygen analyzer. Each stage lasted until an observed plateau in oxygen consumption was achieved. To determine whether or not a plateau had been reached at each stage, we used logistical regression utilizing the Wald equation to show whether or not the slope of oxygen consumption differed significantly from a slope of zero.
Analysis/Results 26 of the 27 subjects met the statistical criteria for having reached an oxygen plateau at each stage. The mean metabolically derived values for 1.8%, 4.1% and 5.8% in ml•kg-1•min-1 are: 15.25 +1.15, 16.01+2.0, 17.47+4.2 respectively. The ACSM formulas for 1.8 %, 4.1% and 5.8% in ml•kg-1•min-1 are 14.76, 18.41 and 21.03 respectively. No significant difference (p>0.05) was present at the 1.8% grade. However there were significant differences (p<0.001) at both the 4.1% grade and the 5.8% grade.
Conclusions In conclusion, the ACSM metabolic formulas overestimate the energy requirements of walking at 3.2mph at both 4.1% grade and 5.8% grades.
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