Psycho-Physiological Responses of Obese Adolescents to an Intermittent Run Test Compared with a 20-M Shuttle Run

  • Rey Olivier
  • Maïano Christophe
  • Nicol Caroline
  • Mercier Charles-Symphorien
  • Vallier Jean-Marc

  • Running test
  • Paediatric obesity
  • Physical self
  • Aerobic fitness


Among the running field tests that measure aerobic fitness indirectly , the 20-m shuttle run test is the one most commonly used among obese youth. However, this back and forth running test induces premature cessation of exercise in this population. The present study aimed to examine the psycho-physiological responses of obese adolescents to an intermittent (15-15) progressive and maximal run test as compared with a continuous shuttle run test. Eleven obese adolescents (age: 14-15 years; BMI = 34.01 ± 5.30 kg • m-2) performed both tests. A two-way ANOVA examined the main effects of the running test, participant's sex, and their interaction on maximal aerobic performance (net exercise duration and final velocity), physiological values (heart rate, pulmonary oxygen uptake, respiratory exchange ratio and blood lactate concentration) and psychological responses (rating of perceived exertion, and physical self-perceptions). Oxygen uptake and heart-rate values at 9 km • h-1 were also compared. Compared with a 20-m shuttle run, the 15-15 test induced lower pulmonary oxygen uptake values at 9 km/h (28.3 ± 2.7 vs. 35.4 ± 2.7 ml • min-1 • kg-1) and finished with higher maximal velocity and net exercise duration (566 ± 156 vs. 346 ± 156 s, p < 0.001), with no inter-test physiological difference. The 15-15 test also resulted in higher ratings of perceived exertion (16.0 ± 1.2 vs. 12.7 ± 1.6, p < 0.001) and improved perceived physical condition compared with the 20-m shuttle run (+1.4 ± 1.4 vs. +0.2 ± 1.0, p < 0.05). Both tests induced a maximal aerobic power of obese adolescents, but the 15-15 test provided a more progressive speed increment and longer exercise duration. The 15-15 test also elicited a significant improvement of perceived physical condition. In conclusion the 15-15 test can be considered a relevant field test for assessing the aerobic fitness of obese adolescents.