Ventilation and Speech Characteristics During Submaximal Aerobic Exercise

Baker, Susan E.; Hipp, Jenny; Alessio, Helaine
October 2008
Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Oct2008, Vol. 51 Issue 5, p1203
Academic Journal
Purpose: This study examined alterations in ventilation and speech characteristics as well as perceived dyspnea during submaximal aerobic exercise tasks. Method: Twelve healthy participants completed aerobic exercise-only and simultaneous speaking and aerobic exercise tasks at 50% and 75% of their maximum oxygen consumption (VO2 max). Measures of ventilation, oxygen consumption, heart rate, perceived dyspnea, syllables per phrase, articulation rate, and inappropriate linguistic pause placements were obtained at baseline and throughout the experimental tasks. Results: Ventilation was significantly lower during the speaking tasks compared with the nonspeaking tasks. Oxygen consumption, however, did not significantly differ between speaking and nonspeaking tasks. The perception of dyspnea was significantly higher during the speaking tasks compared with the nonspeaking tasks. All speech parameters were significantly altered over time at both task intensities. Conclusions: It is speculated that decreased ventilation without a reduction in oxygen consumption implies that utilization of oxygen by the working muscles was increased during the speaking tasks to meet the metabolic needs. A greater ability to utilize oxygen from inspired air is found in individuals who are at higher fitness levels, and therefore these findings may have implications for individuals who must complete simultaneous speech and exercise for occupational purposes (e.g., fitness/military drill instructors, singers performing choreography).


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