Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Kinesiology & Public Health Education


The purpose of this study was' to determine the influence of resistance and frequency of pedalling on heart rate in work performed on a bicycle ergometer. A secondary purpose was to determine the most efficient pedal frequency setting for any given work task.

Two paired sets of seven exercises were performed by each of five subjects. In one set of tests the resistance was held constant and the frequency varied while the other set contained tests which held the frequency constant but varied the resistance.

A brief summary of the findings show:

1. That work output on a bicycle ergometer will vary according to the settings used on the ergometer. Both high and low frequency settings elicit higher heart rates than more moderate frequency settings.

2. The series of tests holding resistance constant elicited the greater heart rate and thus, it must be concluded that the variable factor in this set, i.e., frequency, had the greater effect upon heart rate.

3. Efficient frequency settings for a bicycle ergometer work task depend upon the intensity of the work to be undertaken. If the work load is low, the pedal frequency is best set at approximately 40 revolutions per minute. As the intensity of the task is increased, the more favorable pedal frequency becomes higher to a maximum of 65 pedal revolutions per minute.