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Effects of the muscle pump and body posture on cardiovascular responses during recovery from cycle exercise

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Abstract

The purpose of the study was to characterize the effects of muscular contractions (the muscle pump) and body posture on cardiovascular responses during recovery from moderate exercise in the upright-sitting or supine positions. Heart rate (HR), stroke volume (SV), and cardiac output (CO) were measured in seven young male subjects at rest and during 10-min of cycle exercise at 60% of peak oxygen uptake \(({\dot V}\hbox{O}_{\rm 2peak}).\) This was followed by either complete rest for 5 min (inactive recovery) or cycling at \(20\% {\dot V}\hbox{O}_{\rm 2peak}\) for 5 min (active recovery) in the upright or supine positions. In the upright position, an initial rapid decrease in HR was followed by a gradual decrease in HR, and this response was similar when comparing inactive and active recoveries. Upright SV during inactive recovery decreased gradually to the pre-exercise resting level, whereas upright SV during active recovery remained significantly elevated. In contrast, in the supine position, the HR during active recovery decreased, but remained significantly higher than that during inactive recovery. Changes in supine SV were similar when comparing inactive and active recovery. Thus, maintenance of SV and HR resulted in significantly greater CO during active recovery than during inactive recovery, regardless of body position. HR was greater during supine active-recovery than during supine inactive-recovery, and there was no difference in SV. These data suggest that the muscle pump is less important in facilitating venous return and vagal resumption in the supine position as compared to the upright position.

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Correspondence to Tatsuhisa Takahashi.

Appendix

Appendix

In the model of the muscle pump in Fig. 3, we employed a simple simulation method analogous to Ohm’s law for electric circuits, described below. Cardiac output is expressed by CO, and mean blood pressure and total peripheral resistance are MBP and R, respectively. Subscripts, A and I, refer to measurements during active recovery and inactive recovery, respectively. MBPm is pressure produced by muscular contractions. The total peripheral vascular resistance is the algebraic sum of the artery, capillary, and vein resistances. The resistances RA and RI are equal and are thus represented by “R”. The MBP of 94 mmHg is the average of MBPA and MBPI. Ohm’s law leads analogically to the following equations:

$$\hbox{CO}_{\rm A} \cdot R = \hbox{MBP} + \hbox{MBP}_{\rm m};\quad \hbox{CO}_{\rm I} \cdot R = \hbox{MBP} ,$$

where COA and COI in the upright position are given as 8.3 l min−1 and 6.3 l min−1, respectively. The equations are then rearranged by eliminating R as

$$\hbox{MBP}_{\rm m} = \frac{{\left(\hbox{CO}_{\rm A} - \hbox{CO}_{\rm I}\right)}}{{\hbox{CO}_{\rm I}}} \times \hbox{MBP} = 29.8\,\hbox{mmHg}.$$

Mechanical power of the muscle pump is given by P as

$$P = \hbox{CO}_{\rm A} \cdot \hbox{MBP}_{\rm m} = 0.548\,\hbox{W}.$$

Data of the upright posture are obtained from Table 1. Similarly, for the supine position, the pressure produced by the muscle pump and the mechanical power of the muscle pump are as follows:

$$\hbox{MBP}_{\rm m} = \frac{{\left({10.3 - 8.9} \right)}}{{8.9}} \times 84 = 13.2\,\hbox{mmHg}$$

and

$$P = \hbox{CO}_{\rm A} \times \hbox{MBP}_{\rm m} = 0.300\,\hbox{W}.$$

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Takahashi, T., Hayano, J., Okada, A. et al. Effects of the muscle pump and body posture on cardiovascular responses during recovery from cycle exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol 94, 576–583 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-005-1369-5

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