The 25-m shuttle run test to predict the vo2 peak in wheelchair users

Por: Daniel Theisen, Joeri Varellen, Peter Van de Vliet, Sofia Beloka e Yves Vanlandewijck.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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Wheelchair users have a lower VO2 max in part because of the reduced functional muscle mass available for exercise. Research has shown that regular endurance training can result in improved work capacity and possible increased strength. A 25m indoor shuttle run (SR) test for wheelchair users was developed to predict the peak oxygen consumption (VO2) and evaluate the role of rolling and turning resistance during the performance.


Using auditory feedback, the participants (n=10) were directed to wheel increasing their velocity every minute until exhaustion. Metabolic parameters were recorded with the use of portable spiro meter system. Each athlete performed three different tests on three different conditions in terms of rolling and turning resistance:

NN condition was with the use of the participant’s sport wheelchair on a tartan surface and with the tires on maximal pressure.

RN condition was with increased rolling resistance by using a linoleum surface and tire pressure of 80%

RD condition was with increased rolling and turning resistance by using the linoleum surface, 80% of the tire pressure and an ADL wheelchair (Activities of daily living).


From the metabolic responses the peak VO2 (NN 28.5+-2.58 ml/min/kg, RN 27.81+-3.56 ml/min/kg, RD 27.85+-2.96 ml/min/kg) and the heart rate (HR=NN 180.20+-14.07b/min, RN 182.40+-14.49 b/min, RD 174.20+-13.59 b/min) reached maximal values.

The multiple regression equation analysis calculated moderate correlations between the peak VO2 and shuttle run test time (SRt= NN532.80+-124.97 sec, RN 489.20+-126.32 sec, RD 397.20+-89.20 sec), deceleration (NN -0.09+-0.01 m/sec2, RD -0.09+-0.02m/sec2) and turning (NN 2434,50+-258.15 sec, RN 2523.60+-256.61 sec, RD 2919.80+-219.29 sec) measured during SRT (NN r =0.64, RN r=0.70, RD r=0.51). The SRt gives stronger correlations with VO2 peak, when the increased turning and rolling resistance are taken into consideration.


In this study the purpose was to evaluate the endurance capacity with the 25m SRT and examine the influence of the wheelchair used, the rolling resistance and the turning resistance. However, the peak values of the participants are quite similar. A heterogeneous group, though, would contribute to have more accurate and variable results.

In conclusion, the SRT in relation with rolling and turning resistance is a good predictor for the peak VO2 but the moderate correlations result that a bigger group of participants (n=>10) from rehabilitation programs, recreational exercise and competitive sports with a variety of aerobic capacity and test conditions is required in order to predict higher correlations.



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