Effects of the muscle pump and body posture on cardiovascular responses during recovery from cycle exercise

Tatsuhisa Takahashi, Junichiro Hayano, Akiyoshi Okada, Tadashi Saitoh, Akira Kamiya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of the study was to characterize the effects of muscular contractions (the muscle pump) and body posture on cardiovascular responses during recovery from moderate exercise in the upright-sitting or supine positions. Heart rate (HR), stroke volume (SV), and cardiac output (CO) were measured in seven young male subjects at rest and during 10-min of cycle exercise at 60% of peak oxygen uptake (V̇O2peak). This was followed by either complete rest for 5 min (inactive recovery) or cycling at 20% V̇O2peak for 5 min (active recovery) in the upright or supine positions. In the upright position, an initial rapid decrease in HR was followed by a gradual decrease in HR, and this response was similar when comparing inactive and active recoveries. Upright SV during inactive recovery decreased gradually to the pre-exercise resting level, whereas upright SV during active recovery remained significantly elevated. In contrast, in the supine position, the HR during active recovery decreased, but remained significantly higher than that during inactive recovery. Changes in supine SV were similar when comparing inactive and active recovery. Thus, maintenance of SV and HR resulted in significantly greater CO during active recovery than during inactive recovery, regardless of body position. HR was greater during supine active-recovery than during supine inactive-recovery, and there was no difference in SV. These data suggest that the muscle pump is less important in facilitating venous return and vagal resumption in the supine position as compared to the upright position.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)576-583
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Aug
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiac output
  • Heart rate
  • Impedance cardiography
  • Stroke volume
  • Venous return

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physiology (medical)


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