Year of Publication

2012

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Education

Department

Kinesiology and Health Promotion

First Advisor

Dr. J.W.Yates

Abstract

Various models of simulated weightlessness and resulting cardiovascular effects have been researched in the last 50 years of space exploration. Examples of such models are the Alter-G (Alt-G) treadmill used for body unweighting and head-up-tilt (HUT) model each providing similar cardiovascular effects, but differing in their stimulation of vestibular centers . Advantages of using the Alt-G include: use of lower body positive pressure (LBPP) to simulate hypogravity, it acts as a countermeasure to alleviate negative cardiovascular effects of standing and provides a constant vestibular stimulus. In addition, the Alt-G shorts themselves may be providing a certain degree of LBPP, acting as a compression garment. Therefore the purpose of this study was to determine the cardiovascular effects of Alt-G shorts and how effective they are as countermeasure to deconditioning effects of space flight.

This study tested cardiovascular changes in 12 men and women at 0 and 80 degrees head-up-tilt (HUT0 / HUT80) with and without Alt-G shorts using 5-lead ECG, 10-lead impedance, heart rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressure measurements at finger and arm. The tilt-induced increase in mean heart rate (HR) was significantly smaller when subjects wore the Alt-G shorts. Shorts ended up reducing HR by 2.3 bpm in supine control and by 6.7 bpm at HUT80 (p0.05. Other cardiovascular variables did not show any significant effect from shorts.

In conclusion, this study was in line with results from other studies that used compression garments to determine cardiovascular effects of LBPP.

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