The purpose of this study was to investigate potential improvements in the methodology associated with the Physical Working Capacity at the Fatigue Threshold (PWCFT) test including: (1) the use of a continuous test protocol; (2) the use of a treadmill; (3) the use of a bipolar EMG lead system for noisy electronic environments; and (4) the potential for residual fatigue from tests repeated 24 hours apart. The results of the continuous test protocol (X¯ ± S.D. = 210±73 watts) correlated well (r = 0·856) with the original discontinuous technique (222± 83 watts) and there was no significant (p> 0·05) difference between the mean values (t= 1·146). Treadmill testing required a bipolar lead system to counteract the electrical noise generated by the treadmill motor. The heart rate values which corresponded to PWCFT on the treadmill (W¯+s.d. = 164±b.p.m.) and bicycle ergometer (153 ± 18 b.p.m.) were highly correlated (r=0·833) and there was no significant (p>0·05) difference between the mean values (t= 2·22). The use of a bipolar lead EMG system on the bicycle ergometer resulted in significantly (p<0·05) smaller voltage for any given power output, and the PWCFT exhibited a low to moderate correlation (r=0·60) with PWCFM derived from a unipolar arrangement. The test-retest results of discontinuous PWCFM measurements performed 24 hours apart on the bicycle ergometer were correlated at r=0·812 with no significant (p>0·05) difference (=0·52) between the mean values (test=198±60; retest=191±63 watts).It was concluded that the continuous protocol using a bicycle ergometer should be considered an attractive alternative to the original discontinuous PWCFM test, and daily testing (using the discontinuous procedures) resulted in no residual fatigue. The use of a treadmill or bipolar lead system for the determination of PWCFM requires further study with respect to both validity and reproducibility.
- Fatigue threshold
- Physical working capacity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Human Factors and Ergonomics
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation