Are poles effective and PP poles more so?
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paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: 20% more calories on 04/05/2006 17:00:53 MDT Print View

Doug, take a look at my EDIT in my prev. post. Our post/edit crossed in the ether.

Robert Miller
(procab) - F
Re: Do pole burn 20% more calories? on 04/05/2006 17:35:06 MDT Print View

From personal experience I have difficulty with the 20% quoted. It seems high to me. That being said I found this link with the relevent excerpts below:

Research on the benefits of Nordic walking

The first research results on responses to pole walking training were published in 1992 by
Stoughton, Larkin and Karavan from the University of Oregon. They studied psychological profiles
(mood states) as well as muscular and aerobic fitness responses before and after 12 weeks of pole
walking or walking training in sedentary women.

The study group consisted of eighty-six 20-50 year old women whose fitness was at moderate level.
Maximal aerobic power (Vo2Max) varied between 34-37
ml/kg/min. The study group was divided into three sub-groups. The control group did not change their
exercise habits.

Walking with poles groups walked 30-45 minutes four times a week at an intensity corresponding to
70-85% maximum heart rate for 12 weeks. In the poles group both the walking speed and the distance
walked were slightly less than in the walking group.

In both intervention groups the maximal aerobic power and maximal treadmill time increased
significantly. These increases were eight and 19% on an average. A slight increase in maximal
ventilation occured in the poles group. Muscular strength assessed using triceps pushdown and a
modified lateral pull-down did not improve in either group.

Pole walkers showed significant improvements in depression, anger, vigor, fatigue, total mood
disturbances and total body cathexis scores. It was speculated that the pole walking group may
have felt more unique and special because of their opportunity to do a new and more enjoyable
method of walking.

Nordic walking poles were also compared to the weighted vests, ankle weights, hand and wrist
weights, weighted gloves and Powerbelts(TM) by Porcari (1999) with similar results as above. Nordic
walking increases energy expenditure when compared to regular walking

The physiological responses to walking with and without poles were studied by Hendrickson (1993) and
by Porcari et al. (1997). Hendrickson's study group consisted of 16 fit women (VO2Max 50 ml/kg/min)
and men (59 ml/ia/kg). They walked with and without poles on a treadmill at speeds of 6-7.5 km/hr.
There were no differences in the responses between males and females.

It was found that the use of poles significantly increased oxygen uptake, heart rate and energy
expenditure by approximately 20%
compared to walking without poles in fit subjects. In Porcari's
study of 32 healthy men and women walking with poles, results were an average 23% higher oxygen
uptake, 22% higher caloric expenditure and 16% higher heart rate
responses compared to walking
without poles on a treadmill. Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) values averaged 1.5 units higher with
the use of poles and the pattern of responses were similar for men and women.

Rogers et al. (1995) compared energy expenditure during submaximal walking with poles in ten 24 year
old fit women. Mean maximal aerobic power (21 vs. 18 ml/kg/min) and heart rate (133 vs. 122 bpm)
were significantly greater during walking with poles compared to walking without. Also the total
caloric expenditure in a 30 minute session was significantly greater during pole walking (74 vs. 141
kcal).
In contrast, RPE did not differ significantly between the two conditions.

Laukkanen (1998, unpublished) compared heart rate during normal and fast walking speeds with an
without Exel Walker poles. Ten middle-aged men and women were studied on an indoor hall track. The
heart rate increase, measured with telemetric Polar heart rate (HR) monitors was between 5-12 bpm
and 5-17 bpm higher
in men and women.

A dual-motion treadmill Cross Walk has been studied by Knox (1993), Foley(1994) and by
Butts et al. (1995). The Cross Walk Dual Motion Cross Trainer is a motorised treadmill
designed to increase the energy cost of walking by incorporating arm activity during walking,
thus increasing the muscle mass used during exercise. Knox studied thirty-seven 17-35 year
old women and they all performed six 5 minute steady-state exercises with and without arm
activity. Walking with arm activity significantly increased heart rate, ventilation, oxygen
uptake and energy expenditure compared to walking without arm activity. For example, heart
rate increased 17-31 bpm.
Rating of perceived exertion as well as energy expenditure
increased by an average of 14%.
In Butt's study both the 24-year-old women and men were
studied with a similar design. In this study arm work increased energy expenditure by 55% on
an average compared to the regular walking, but only increased RPE slightly. This was
consistent with the results from Foley, who did Cross Walking in 24-year-old men. Nordic
walking helps strengthen and tone upper body muscles A Finnish study (Anettila et al. 1999)
compared pole walking with regular walking training for 12 weeks in 55 female office workers.
The EMG measurement showed that electrical activities of the muscles of the upper body, neck,
shoulder and upper back were significantly higher when walking with poles. Pole walking
training diminished neck and shoulder symptoms and subjective feelings of pain. Mobility of
the upper body increased as well. The most recent study published on Nordic walking compared
metabolic cost of Nordic walking to normal walking in twenty-two 31-year-old men and women
(Morss et al. 2001). Participants of this study walked on an outdoor 200 metre track with
Cosmed K4b for oxygen analysis and Polar Vantage heart rate monitor for HR measurements. The
study indicated significant increases in oxygen consumption (20% on average), caloric
expenditure and HR in Nordic walking compared to normal walking. The range of increase was
large, ie. oxygen consumption 5-63% indicating differences in poling intensity and technique.
Perceived exertion did not differ between the walks. The same group also compared separately
the metabolic cost of high intensity poling (Jordan et al. 2001). In high intensity poling
Nordic walking increased HR 35 bpm on average compared to regular walking. Summary Based on
research, walking with poles adds physiological strain to regular walking in both women and
men and in fit and less fit individuals. Walking with poles seems to elicit improvements with
slightly less speed. Because perceived exertion in pole walking is often less than true
physiological strain, controlling heart rate may be beneficial for those who tend to
overreach. Walking with poles improves mainly aerobic fitness, muscular endurance, deceases
neck-should area disabilities and pain, and can have positive effects on mood state. In order
to improve muscle power, uphill walking is required. Pole walking affecting body coordination
and motor fitness has not been published. Walking with poles is a safe and fun exercise mode
and fits everybody.

This research summary was written by: Raija Laukkanen Ph.D., Docent Director, Exercise Science Polar
Electro Oy Finland References Anttila, Holopainen, Jokinen. Polewalking and the effect of regular
12-week polewalking exercise on neck and shoulder symptoms, the mobility of the cervical and
thoracic spine and aerobic capacity. Final project work for the Helsinki IV College for health care
professionals, 1999

Butts, Knox, Foley. Energy cost of walking on dual-action treadmill in men and women. Med Sci Sports
Exerc 27(1), 121-125, 1995.

Foley. The effects of Cross Walk (R)'s resistive arm poles on the metabolic costs of treadmill
walking. Thesis. University of Wisconsin-La Grosse, 1994.

Hendrickson. The physiological responses to walking with an without Power PolesTM on treadmill
exercise. Thesis. University of Wisconsin-La Grosse, 1993.

REVIEW OF THE SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH ON NORDIC WALKING Raija Laukkanen Ph.D., Docent University of
Oulu, Finland Director, Exercise Science Polar Electro Oy Kempele, Finland Board member, INWA Field
testing of physiological responses associated with Nordic Walking Subjects: 11 women and 11 men (31
yrs, VO2max 46 ml/kg/min) Methods: walking with or without Exel Nordic Walker poles 1600 m track
Measurements: HR, RPE, VO2 (Cosmed K4b2) every 200 m Results: Oxygen consumption increased in women
from 15 to 18 ml/kg/min, caloric expenditure from 4.6 to 5.4 kcal/min, HR from 114 to 119 bpm, and
in men from 13 to 16 ml/kg/min, from 5.7 to 6.9 kcal/min, HR from 102 to 110 bpm
in NW compared to
regular walking. All increases statistically significant. RPE or RQ did not change. Conclusions: NW
results in significant increases in metabolic demand compared to regular walking without increasing
perceived exertion. Church et al. Res Quart Exerc Sports 73(3),296-300, 2002 Jordan et al. Med Sci
Sports Exerc 33(5), May 2001, suppl.,S86 Morss et al. Med Sci Sports Exerc 33(5), May 2001,
suppl.,S23

ACUTE RESPONSES TO USING WALKING POLES IN PATIENTS WITH CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE Subjects: Phase
III/IV cardiac rehabilitation patients Methods: Two 8-min walking trials with or without poles on
treadmill Results: Energy cost increased 21% , HR 14 bpm, BB 16/4 mmHg when walking with poles. No
differences in PVCs or ST-segment changes. Conclusions: Light walking poles increase intensity of
walking safely in cardiac rehabilitation patients Walter et al. J Cardiopulm Rehabil 1996

Edited by procab on 04/05/2006 18:38:33 MDT.

Bernard Shaw
(be_here_now@earthlink.net) - F

Locale: Upstate New York
Calories burned vs benefits gained on 04/05/2006 18:42:43 MDT Print View

Ryan et al. emailed me to state their interest and intention in a future review of efficiency of pole use. Thanks folks, this would be great.


Perhaps for now, without yet reviewing all the replies and also looking for research, it might be a fair summary that even if it turned out that a 20% or even higher amount of work required over the same terrain would be justified for some folks due to various benefits attributed to the poles.

Like I said before, I am all for each person hiking in the way that works best for them. Still I look forward to knowing separate from these possible benefits, if claims of energy saving are less than true, and if more energy required just how much.

Thanks all!

Mark Larson
(mlarson) - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: Re: Do pole burn 20% more calories? on 04/05/2006 19:58:50 MDT Print View

As PJ mentioned, the typical Nordic-walking pole height is much greater than what a typical hiker would use, and the stroke is a bit different, too. As others mentioned, as pole weight drops from 16oz to 5oz, you'll get much better effort/work ratio. I imagine an increase in pole stiffness could have a similar effect, but I couldn't even guess a number on that.

I thought this excerpt from Robert's post was interesting: "Because perceived exertion in pole walking is often less than true physiological strain, controlling heart rate may be beneficial for those who tend to overreach." Emphasis own. I'll have to reflect and think back on that one some more, but I think that holds true for me. Maybe that's a psychological result of spreading the work around the body.

My own experience agrees with Doug's from a pure mileage standpoint. Poles make a tremendous difference on leg wear and fatigue, and I'm good for much longer.
-Mark

A Lee Deavers jr
(got2go4hike) - F
Re: Re: This post not intended as anti-poles on 04/05/2006 21:50:47 MDT Print View

Robert, I don't know how many miles I could hike without a pack. It is not until I carry weight that the knee gives me any really serious trouble. I can jog 4 miles without any trouble; I have hiked up a steep 3000 foot incline (Table Rock State Park)without a pack and didn't have any trouble. That is the extent of my hiking.

Lee

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Re: Re: Do pole burn 20% more calories? on 04/06/2006 04:01:13 MDT Print View

Mark, you hit the nail on the head. I believe this Nordic Walking is similar to so-called Power Walking. Exaggerated arm movements and elevation of at least the hands (and the weights/poles) in them at or especially above heart level is key to achieving the 20% increase.

This is fine if cardio benefit is the desired end of such exercise. For the hiker, this often, but not always, is NOT the goal. Hence we use poles of the proper length for our height (whether they be adjustable or fixed-length matters not) and don't do exaggerated arm movements which elevate the hands above the level of the heart and certainly NOT to shoulder level.

This is NOT to say that there is no increase in overall effort, but it's certainly NOT 20%, IME. I'm sure that a hiker using poles IS doing more work - we have to be, we're lifting something even if it's only 2.7oz GG LightTrek poles (not to mention the weight of our arms and hands). There's no getting around this fact, viz. MORE WORK IS BEING DONE, hence more energy is required, hence more calories consumed.

I often wear a Polar HRM on near daily fitness hikes (still use GG poles of the proper length and before that Leki poles adjusted properly for length) and I can tell you from empirical observation on myriads of occasions over several years that proper form when using of trekking poles adjusted to the proper length to keep the hands at or below heart level when traversing level ground DOES NOT PRODUCE A 20% INCREASE IN MY HR, or even a 10% INCREASE can I ever recall seeing on the receiving unit versus not using any poles. The time I've really noticed an increase in HR with trekking poles is that it's so much easier to "trek on" that I'm hiking faster, hence my rate of energy expenditure increase and my HR rises.

Psychology sure plays a part. Everyone knows that athletic performance is less if one is very depressed. I was once running on the treadmill in my basement, pushing myself near the end of my workout and was listening to music. I was exhausted and ready to cut short the finishing half-mile "sprint" (take that term with a grain of salt), when the theme from "Chariots of Fire" came on. My whole mental attitude changed and I lost all sense of fatigue. I even kicked the speed up ~0.5mph partway through. My daughter runs marathons and uses that Theme-song during training runs when her legs feel like "Lead" and her mind is weakening (it gets hot in Los Angeles where she lives)

Pumping blood above the level of the heart is hard work. Why do we often lower the head (lay them down vs. sit them up) of an individual in certain medical emergencies?!! We know why.

Try this one out: Step-aerobics - a simple 4" to 8" step. Hold some 2-5lb weights in each hand hanging down at the side. Step up and down slowly for several minutes - whatever it takes to get a fairly stable elevated HR. Then step up and down with 2lb weights (or 5lb weights if you want) in each hand and do alternating shoulder presses (the arms and weights are above heart level - don't lower them, i.e. arms and weights below shoulder for the entire period) for somewhere between 2 and 6 minutes. Note the HR. Then, without resting switch to alternating bicep curls (the weights and hands are below heart level). Note the HR. Even though exercise is continuing, the HR will drop simply because the arms and weights are below heart level.

Ok. This is a more exaggerated example than the Nordic/POWER trekking pole walking, but it's only to illustrate the point. To hold the HR down and the work required to be performed down, keep the hands at or below heart level. I truly do not believe a 20% exertion increase will result if this is done. Some, yes, and I don't know what that percent increase is, but it won't be 20%.

If anyone feels I'm wrong, please correct me AND tell me WHY so that I can understand my misinterpretationof what I've observed during my workouts and hikes.

Bernard Shaw
(be_here_now@earthlink.net) - F

Locale: Upstate New York
How to account for different results? on 04/06/2006 07:30:29 MDT Print View

Paul,

You got me thinking about how to account for so many hikers who feel and may be aided by poles. And yet there is evidence that this is not actually always the case.

I do know from prior experience and research that hearrt rate is not always correlated with increased workload, and at the very least is not linear, so as measure of work done we should not rely on it from one case personal experitment or rigorous studies.

From a factual understanding it is likely, imo, not research, that the less weight of the hiking poles, the less distance and height moved by poles and arms, and the less energy done, the less the loss.
This is what we find about everything else in the UL world of backpacking, the less the load the further we go with the same energy expended.

I think it would be interesting if a really rigorous study was designed that was double blind and had control groups, etc. and the findings were that in pure work done, the situationa that poles DECREASED total energy expenditure are in very steep and difficult to balance terrain, OR when carrying very heavy loads where balance is improved markedly by pole use, and for those of us due to injury, balance problems.

For those of us fortunate to not have health or balance issues, pole use on non-technical terrain may show that energy consumption is significantly higher, less with lighter poles, and more as pole weight increases, and MARKEDLY more as one depends more and more on the pole, due to the factors you mention Paul and others here.

Of course there is the realm of what is called the "placebo effect" often mistaken as something phony, but actually a real effect of strong belief and expectations, which can actually lead to hiking in a manner that is more balanced and efficient and thus less actual energy expenditure.

Lastly is the realm of snake oil artists who help us dissociate while in pain and with fatigue to ignore and float above the pain deluding ourselves we are young Olympians on the march to glory, all the while our increasingly fatigued bodies are getting more so. Hey this may be a benefit also, feel good even though really exhausted, at least until we hit the wall!

(Please remember I am both serious and searching for some humor here and take in the best way possible, online remarks get mistaken often!)

Edited by be_here_now@earthlink.net on 04/06/2006 07:32:23 MDT.

Robert Miller
(procab) - F
Poles - how much is 20%? on 04/06/2006 10:05:11 MDT Print View

In searching for how many calories we are burning hiking I stumbled across an article in Runners World that compares running vs walking by calories burned per mile. This article introduced me to the concept of net calorie burn (NCB) which is the additional calories burned beyond what are burned at rest.

A rough formula for NCB per mile walked is - weight times 0.3 - which yields ~52 calories per mile for the average male.

If the studies on nordic walking are using the NCB for their baseline, and I don't see any reason why they wouldn't, the use of poles comes at a cost of ~10 calories per mile. YMMV ;-)

Robert

Lee, it sounds like you're a candidate for a "BPL Extreme Makeover". Post your gear list and I'm sure we can help you out.

Edited by procab on 04/06/2006 10:08:45 MDT.

A Lee Deavers jr
(got2go4hike) - F
Re: Poles - how much is 20%? on 04/06/2006 11:33:53 MDT Print View

Yea, I think you are right Robert, I need an extreme BPL Makeover. Ha, funny that you should say that...after I just spent about 2000 dollars on equipment!
Most of it is in clothing but the tent, is a huge Mother Huba!

So, what forum do I got to to post this list?

I am new to Backpacking; I have been three times but will be going about every other week. I live in SC and hope to eat up the Foothills Trail along the Blue Ridge.

I have a lot of questions about ultralight backpacking and this forum seems to be the right place to get the right answers:-)

Thanks
Lee Deavers

Robert Miller
(procab) - F
Coming soon - Lees gear list on 04/06/2006 12:31:05 MDT Print View

Lee,

Use this link to post your gear list. There are many helpful members here that will help with you with suggestions.

This article was invaluable in my conversion to UL. Read it. There will be a quiz on Friday.

Robert

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: How to account for different results? on 04/06/2006 12:31:38 MDT Print View

Bernard, You've made some good points. One I'd like to address a bit, i.e. the issue of balance. When I said work, I was speaking in terms of a physical quantity (i.e., force applied over a distance). An isometric muscular contraction (i'm sure most/all readers can think of an isometric exercise or two) does not do any work in the sense of this physical definition/equation, but expends energy none-the-less. So too with the issue of balance. We subconsciously utilize many stabilizing muscles (spinal erectors, obliques, abominals, etc) for many body movements. Using trekking poles reduces the strength of the contracture of some of these muscles in some cases. An example might help to illustrate what I'm very poorly describing here. Everyone reading these words knows both by teaching and by experience that it is much easier and less stressful to sit still for several hours on an upright chair, leaning back slightly against the backrest (unloading our core stabilizing muscles) than it is to sit still for several hours on a stool with no back. On the stool all of our "core" stabilizers (obliques, abominals, and spinal erectors) are recruited to maintain balance and hold our torso erect. These same muscles get to rest somewhat in a chair with a backrest on it. I believe that to some degree this same phenomenon occurs when using trekking poles especially in situation (uneven terrain) which effects our balance.

Again, I believe simply because we need to lift the poles and our hands too (higher than in our normal stride sans poles) that we do more work. To some small degree this extra work and the muscular constractures required to stabilize ourselves (using our arms and upper torso) is offset slightly by some small reduction in energy expended by our core muscles. Again, I'm surmising here, but to me at least, it's makes sense (maybe I'm forgetting some aspect that bears upon this however?). I'm distributing the workload to more muscles (which is good) and even though I'm creating a little more work, I can carry on further by reducing the load on the more heavier loaded muscles (lower body and core) so that they don't fatigue as quickly - a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

Anyways, poles work for me - no doubt about it - especially since so much of trails I hike are very uneven and many hills - rarely am I on level ground for any period of time (not even 100 meters, usually not even 50m of straight and level trail). Even though I believe that I'm doing more work and even a small net increase in calorie expenditure, I can go faster and farther by redistributing this slightly increased work to more muscles and improving balance. Like the old Scotsman says, "it's better felt than telt".

Robert Miller
(procab) - F
Re: Re: How to account for different results? on 04/06/2006 13:24:03 MDT Print View

pj,

I see where you're going here but...

Ones spine does not turn to linguini when using poles. Any input from the pole to your upper body for balance must have a firm spine to absorb it.

Lets return to the walker unencumbered with poles where the arms are very close to being pendulums. As you know pendulums are very energy efficient. The energy required may be very close to zero. One could argue that some of the increased energy expenditure in a runner would be in the more vigorous use of the runners arms compared to a walker.

Returning to a walker with poles, the arms are now in a distinct stepping motion. Stepping consumes energy, that's why it is so important to get shoe/boot weight down.

I'm with you, poles are a great benefit to me. I never would have guessed that they used 20% more energy.

Interesting thread.

Thanks,
Robert

Edited by procab on 04/06/2006 13:46:38 MDT.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Re: Re: How to account for different results? on 04/06/2006 13:32:20 MDT Print View

I take your point. Thanks for your insight.

Personally, I don't think that poles when used properly use 20% more energy.

If one uses them as in PowerWalking/Nordic Walking for cardio conditioning, then I'll agree. However, when hiking, I've never used proper length poles with such extreme arm swings (which involve some lifting of the poles, i.e. it's NOT purely ballistic in nature).

I going to opt for far less than 20% when used properly based upon my experience. OMMV (other's MMV).

Bernard Shaw
(be_here_now@earthlink.net) - F

Locale: Upstate New York
OK BPL, we need the BPL-ometer on 04/06/2006 13:50:47 MDT Print View

Since Ryan is alleging they are going to do a review and my hope an experiment regarding poles and energy, I am waiting for their BPL-meter to give us the definitive scoop on this!

Go Ryan! Maybe he can attach the BPL-ometer on his far north hike/buttbuster he is planning!

Edited by be_here_now@earthlink.net on 04/06/2006 14:13:21 MDT.

john Tier
(Peter_pan) - M

Locale: Co-Owner Jacks 'R' Better, LLC, VA
Re: OK BPL, we need the BPL-ometer on 04/06/2006 14:44:20 MDT Print View

I don't know about a meter...but...I do know that I hike longer, with less turned ankles and less stressed knees with poles...The benefits are so great IMHO that it is probably doubtfull if I would still enjoy hiking without them...

Yes, at 59 they definately have a value...still averaging 15-17 miles per day with occasional 20s....get poles, get a comfortable hammock and go light.

Pan

Robert Miller
(procab) - F
Re: How to account for different results? on 04/06/2006 15:01:15 MDT Print View

pj,

As I stated earlier the 20% seems high to me too. So I'm going to play devils advocate.

I think we can agree with properly sized poles your forearm is parallel to the ground. Additionally any one pole is off the ground for half the time spent walking.

Leaving pole weight out of the equation, how many calories would be expended to hold ones forearm parallel to the ground for one hour?

Enjoying the exchange but I got to run some errands,
Robert

ps - note that all the studies were prior to the widespread use of carbon fiber.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Re: How to account for different results? on 04/06/2006 16:31:56 MDT Print View

>>"...how many calories..."

Not many I would imagine.

>>"prior to...carbon fiber"

Understood. However, and I think you agree based upon your posts, even in this, the CF era of trekking poles, if one is serious about Nordic Walking, one is going to opt for heavier poles. Nordic walking is about low intensity cardio exercise if I understand it correctly.

I too enjoy the balance (no pun intended) you bring to this and other exchanges we've had. Two heads are generally better than one as the saying goes.

Rod Lawlor
(Rod_Lawlor) - MLife

Locale: Australia
Poles? Stairs? on 04/06/2006 21:16:40 MDT Print View

Hell, I'll weigh in on this one too, since we look like we're back at dogma over science. I'm good at that. :)

I don't use poles. I'm young(ish). I'm fit(ish) I'm also often holding someones hand while I'm walking. BUT I think they work, especially for hills, up and down.

Try this simple test. Walk up some stairs (Remember them. They look like an escalator, but {here's the giveaway} they don't move) You'll have to lift your own feet up each one. People will look at you funny, while they're waiting for the lift, but tell them you're training

Okay, you're up to the fifth flight of stairs (Yep, still without supplementary oxygen). Now take a big gasp and....let go of the hand rail. Yep just lift your hand off, and go solo. Try this for two flights.

Now, in the interests of science, just to try to eliminate any cofounders, put your hand back on and walk another two flights up, using the rail.

Which one was easier? Which one would you prefer to do all day?

That's why I think poles work.

Cheers, Rod

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Poles? Stairs? on 04/07/2006 03:01:26 MDT Print View

Bravo!!!

Much, Much better than my chair vs. stool illustration/test. Good for you. Everyone knows the truth of what you explained, since everyone, to some degree, has probably experienced this first hand. I know that I have.

However, I don't think that it is truly dogma though. Dogma isn't, and in some cases can't be, proven by experimentation. Your suggestion is really more of an astute observation. If we call it a field experiment and provide some way to control, measure, and quantify the results, then we can call it Science. The worst that I could call it is anectdotal. But in this case, that's NOT to disparage your observation, since what you say is obviously, to my mind at least, true.

I wonder how many more calories are burned using the hand rail??? Maybe I'll try your example while wearing a HRM. That would be rather telling, wouldn't it? I know that using the simple Basal Metabolic Test and VO2-max estimate capabilites of my HRM, and how it functions, that IF using the hand rail results in an average lower HR, then it will estimate a LOWER calorie burn. I think I'll try to get permission to climb the "drop-test" Tower stairs at work during lunch next week - it's more than 5stories tall.

Bernard Shaw
(be_here_now@earthlink.net) - F

Locale: Upstate New York
Clear as mud on 04/07/2006 10:09:40 MDT Print View

Hey, I though we were interested in science here? Facts are not equal to intuition nor the intensity of the idea held. Truth? Sheesz!

It takes X energy to lift Y lbs. up Z feet in T time period. Whether one can be more efficient by utilizing the arms (biceps) which are one of the smallest and puniest muscles in most folk, vs well conditioned large muscles in the legs and hips is the question. Again, if balance is somehow improved and this translates into more effective use of the legs and the work done by the arms does not cancel this out, maybe, but not likely.

Have you never experienced anything in your life that was counter-intuitive to understand that your hard convictions can be remarkably and dramatically inaccurate?

I remain open to any outcome here, just would love to get to the facts vs holding onto a certain idea that is congruent with my prior understanding of what is causing what.