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Effects of a 200 W–15 min cycling exercise on postural control during quiet standing in healthy young adults


The purpose of the present experiment was to investigate the immediate effects of a cycling exercise on postural control during quiet standing in healthy young adults. To this aim, 12 university students were asked to stand upright as immobile as possible, with their eyes closed, prior to and following a 15 min cycling exercise performed at a power output of 200 W. Centre of foot pressure (CP) displacements, recorded using a force platform along both the medio-lateral (ML) or antero-posterior (AP) axes, were used to compute the motions of the vertical projection of the centre of gravity (CG v ) and those of the difference between the CP and the CG v (CP − CG v ). Metabolic (heart rate, respiratory exchange ratio and blood lactate concentration) and psychological (rate of perceived exertion) measurements ensured that subjects were fatigued at the end of the cycling exercise. The cycling exercise induced a decreased of both CG v and CP − CG v motions along the AP-axis, whereas no significant changes were observed along the ML-axis. These discrepancies of the postural effects according to the direction of balance are likely to stem from the directionally sensitive activity of postural muscles, when considering (1) what the cycling exercise involved in terms of joints and tendons receptors stimulation and lower limb muscles recruitment (i.e. sagittal plane movers of the lower extremities) and (2) the skeletal muscles involved in postural control during quiet standing (i.e. sagittal and frontal plane movers of the lower extremities for the AP and ML balance, respectively).

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This paper was written while the first author was ATER at Université de Savoie, France. The authors gratefully acknowledge N. Horvais and Ch. Ringaud for their technical assistance in the collection of data for this experiment, PPEH research unit, Jean Monnet University, Saint-Etienne, France and EA 479 Physiopathologie Cardiovasculaire et Prévention, Besançon, France for blood lactate concentration and gas analyses measurements. The authors would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for helpful comments and suggestions. Special thanks are also extended to Ben H. and Zora B. for various contributions.

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Correspondence to Nicolas Vuillerme.

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Vuillerme, N., Hintzy, F. Effects of a 200 W–15 min cycling exercise on postural control during quiet standing in healthy young adults. Eur J Appl Physiol 100, 169–175 (2007).

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  • Cycle ergometer
  • Balance
  • Fatigue
  • Centre of foot pressure
  • Centre of gravity
  • Centre of foot pressure minus centre of gravity