How exercise intensity targets, calibrated according to oxygen consumption, relate to vertical impacts during weight-bearing exercise is currently unknown. The authors investigated the relationship between vertical peaks (VPs) and metabolic equivalents (METs) of oxygen consumption in 82 women during walking and running. The magnitude of VPs, measured using a hip-worn triaxial accelerometer, was derived from recommended aerobic exercise intensity targets. VPs were 0.63 ± 0.18g at the lower recommended absolute exercise intensity target (3 METs) but >1.5g at the upper end of moderate-intensity activities (1.90 ± 1.13g at 6 METs). Multilevel linear regression analyses identified speed and type of locomotion as the strongest independent predictors of VPs, explaining 54% and 11% of variance, respectively. The authors conclude that, in contrast to lower intensities, exercising close to or above the 6-MET threshold generates VPs of osteogenic potential, suggesting this could provide simultaneous benefits to decrease all-cause mortality and osteoporosis risk.
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