A comparison of head motion and prefrontal haemodynamics during upright and recumbent cycling exercise


The aim of this observational study was to compare head motion and prefrontal haemodynamics during exercise using three commercial cycling ergometers. Participants (n = 12) completed an incremental exercise test to exhaustion during upright, recumbent and semi-recumbent cycling. Head motion (using accelerometry), physiological data (oxygen uptake, end-tidal carbon dioxide [PETCO2] and heart rate) and changes in prefrontal haemodynamics (oxygenation, deoxygenation and blood volume using near infrared spectroscopy [NIRS]) were recorded. Despite no difference in oxygen uptake and heart rate, head motion was higher and PETCO2 was lower during upright cycling at maximal exercise (P<0˙05). Analyses of covariance (covariates: head motion P>0˙05; PETCO2, P<0˙01) revealed that prefrontal oxygenation was higher during semi-recumbent than recumbent cycling and deoxygenation and blood volume were higher during upright than recumbent and semi-recumbent cycling (respectively; P<0˙05). This work highlights the robustness of the utility of NIRS to head motion and describes the potential postural effects upon the prefrontal haemodynamic response during upright and recumbent cycling exercise.

Clinical Physiology and Functional Imaging