Heart rate is lower during ergometer rowing than during treadmill running

Chie C. Yoshiga*, Mitsuru Higuchi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


This study evaluated whether the heart rate (HR) response to exercise depends on body position and on the active muscle mass. The HR response to ergometer rowing (sitting and using both arms and legs) was compared to treadmill running (upright exercise involving mainly the legs) using a progressive exercise intensity protocol in 55 healthy men [mean (SD) height 176 (5) cm, body mass 71 (6) kg, age 21 (3) years]. During rowing HR was lower than during running at a blood lactate concentration of 2 mmol·l-1 [145 (13) compared to 150 (11) beat·min-1, P < 0.05], 4 mmol·l-1 [170 (10) compared to 177 (13) beat·min -1, P < 0.05], and 6 mmol·l-1 [182 (10) compared to 188 (10) beat·min-1, P < 0.05]. Also during maximal intensity rowing, HR was lower than during maximal intensity running [194 (9) compared to 198 (11) beat·min-1, P < 0.05]. These results were accompanied by a higher maximal oxygen uptake during rowing than during running [rowing compared to running, 4.50 (0.5) and 4.35 (0.4) l·min -1, respectively, P < 0.01]. Thus, the oxygen pulse, as an index of the stroke volume of the heart, was higher during rowing than during running at any given intensity. The results suggest that compared to running, the seated position and/or the involvement of more muscles during rowing facilitate venous return and elicit a smaller HR response for the same relative exercise intensity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-100
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Jun
Externally publishedYes


  • Exercise
  • Oxygen pulse
  • Oxygen uptake

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physiology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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