Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Health, Physical Education and Recreation

First Advisor

Dr. Kris Berg

Second Advisor

Dr. Ray Millimet


The cardiorespiratory effects of exercise training in adults have been widely researched (26,39,53,56,57). Through training, the adult experiences an increase in maximum aerobic power (V 02 max), a decrease in resting and submaximum heart rate and an increase in maximum cardiac output (26,36,53,54,59,60). These physiological changes result in an increase in physical working capacity and an enhanced tolerance to all exercise workloads.

Factors contributing to the training effect in the adult include the intensity, the duration, and the frequency of exercise (1, 2). The recommended type of exercise involves activities which use large muscle groups of the body in a rhythmic and continuous nature. The recommended exercise prescription includes an intensity of 60-90% of the maximum heart or 50-85% of the vo2 max, a duration of 15-60 minutes and a frequency of 3 to 5 days per week. An individual's initial level of fitness is an important consideration in evaluating the effects of training. Large changes in vo2 max are usually associated with low initial levels (l, 2). Generally, there is a direct positive relation between the exercise stimuli and the training effect. That is, the greater the total combination of intensity, duration and frequency, the greater the training effect.

These factors and guidelines were developed from exercise training studies involving adults. Little information is available concerning the cardiorespiratory responses of children to exercise training. Some investigators believe that young children already have a reasonably high level of aerobic fitness due to their high level of play activity (45,61 ,63). Thus, little improvement could be expected in vo2 max values as a result of exercise training (45,61 ). However, others have found some changes in vo2 max as a result of exercise training (9 23,24,25,27,28,45,66). Moreover, other researchers have heart rate data indicating that young children spend little time in high intensity play (33). The conflicting results in children studies may be due to the lack of control of exercise intensity (45,47). Many of the studies had poorly standardized procedures utilizing play and games as the mode of training with no mention of the intensity of the participation (7,9,13,19).

There is a need to compare children and adult responses to identical training programs. Guidelines established for the adult and often utilized in children's programs may not apply to the young. This is an important concept for preventive medicine programs involving both children and adults (55).


A Thesis Presented to the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska at Omaha In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Science in Physical Education. Copyright 1982 Mary Marlene Petratis.