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Prescription of walking exercise intensity from the incremental shuttle walk test in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

OBJECTIVE: This study determined the intensity of walking exercise prescribed from 70% of peak speed achieved during the incremental shuttle walk test (ISWT) in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and whether a steady-state response was achieved when exercising at this intensity.

DESIGN: Each participant performed lung function tests, an incremental cycle test, two ISWTs, and a 10-min continuous walking exercise at 70% peak ISWT speed. Oxygen consumption (V(O2)) was collected using a portable system (Cosmed K4b(2), Rome, Italy). The V(O2) from the 10-min walking exercise was compared with V(O2)peak from the better ISWT as a measure of walking exercise intensity.

RESULTS: Thirty-four participants completed the study. The mean intensity achieved during the 10-min walking exercise was 76% (11%) V(O2)peak. Steady-state V(O2) was achieved by minute 5 in the 10-min walking exercise.

CONCLUSIONS: Prescription of walking exercise at 70% of the peak ISWT speed provided an intensity appropriate for achieving physiologic training responses.

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