Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MSc)


Adapted Human Biodynamics


N. B. Oldridge




The effects of a 12-week physical conditioning program on cardiorespiratory responses and the subjective assessment of work intensity (RPE) during exercise in healthy, middle-aged females and females with coronary heart disease (CHD) were studied. A physical conditioning program was developed for healthy, middle-aged females and females with CHD using an exercise prescription based on current practice in middle-aged males with and without CHD. The progress included cycle ergometer exercise prescribed at 65-75% of maximal VO₂ for 30-45 minutes 3 times per week.

Six cardiac females (aged 40 to 57 years) and 9 healthy females (aged 44 to 52 years) started the program. The cardiac females had a significantly lower maximal work capacity, VO₂ and VCO₂ (p<0.05) than the healthy females. Measures of other variables were similar in the two groups. Following physical conditioning the healthy females demonstrated a significant increase in maximal PO(27.6%), VO₂ (15.9%), VE (23.9%) and VCO₂ (17.8%); a significant decrease in HR (10.5%), SBP (7.1%), RPP (17.5%), VCO₂ (12.0%) and RPE (33.1%) at a standard submaximal PO; and a significant decrease in steady state VO₂ (6.7%), Qc (13.4%) and HR (9.4%) (p<0.05). No changes were observed in other variables. Since only 3 cardiac females completed the 12-week program, they were treated as case studies. These 3 cardiac females showed considerable variation in their cardiorespiratory responses to physical conditioning but each exhibited a reduction in RPE at submaximal power outputs following physical conditioning. It was concluded that the physical conditioning program; (a) improved cardiorespiratory functioning, and reduced perceived exertion, during exercise in the healthy, middle-aged females; and (b) was effective as a mode of psychophysical rehabilitation, but not necessarily as a mode of physiological rehabilitation, for the females with CHD.

McMaster University Library

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