Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Phyllis T. Croisant


The purpose of this study was to determine if any differences exist in relative efficiency of the subjects when riding a Monark bicycle ergometer as compared to a Fitron bicycle ergometer ridden at the same work rate. This efficiency was determined from levels of oxygen consumption, exercise heart rates, ratings of perceived exertion, blood pressure, and electromyographic recordings of four right leg muscles during exercise bouts on the two different bicycle ergometers.

Seventeen apparently healthy male subjects aged 42 to 78 years performed two tests, one on the Monark bicycle ergometer and one on the Fitron bicycle ergometer. Each test was a submaximal test in which the subject rode the bike until a steady-state in heart rate and oxygen consumption was reached. The work rate for each individual was chosen to match his normal training heart rate.

A t-test for dependent observations was used to determine the significance of difference of the mean oxygen consumption, heart rate, blood pressure, rating of perceived exertion, average pedal count, and electromyographic activity. There was a statistically significant difference (p<0.05) in the mean values for oxygen consumption, heart rate, blood pressure, and rating of perceived exertion during exercise rides on the Monark and Fitron bicycle ergometers. These values were all found to be significantly higher for exercise performed on the Monark bicycle ergometer. No statistically significant difference was found for average pedal count or total duration of electrical activity of the vastus lateralis, biceps femoris, tibialis anterior, and gastrocnemius leg muscles between tests performed on the Monark and Fitron bicycle ergometers as measured by the electromyographic recordings.