Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Heart beat; Low impact aerobic exercises--Physiological aspects; Oxygen in the body;


High-impact aerobic dance exercise has become a popular form of aerobic exercise for many individuals. Over the past few years studies have reported a high injury rate in high-impact classes that is associated with a high frequency of participation in the classes. Low-impact aerobic dance exercise developed as an alternative to high-impact classes and was thought by many to be a safe and effective alternative to high-impact classes. The basic principle behind low-impact aerobic dance exercise is that at least one foot is touching the floor throughout the aerobic portion of the workout, which limits the impact. Little research has been done in the area of low-impact aerobic dance exercise because it is a relatively new exercise. Also, because it is often necessary to combine vigorous arm activity with the leg activity in order to sufficiently elevate the heart rate, it is questionable whether or not the arm activity also proportionately increases the oxygen consumption.

The purposes of this study are to determine the increase in oxygen consumption and heart rate in women while performing typical low-impact aerobic dance arm movements while walking and to determine the relationship between oxygen consumption and heart rate.

Twenty female volunteers performed five different arm actions that are typically performed in low-impact aerobic classes, while walking on a treadmill at 3.5 miles per hour. Each arm action was performed for 3 minutes and oxygen consumption and heart rate were recorded at the end of each 3 minute bout. Following performance of the arm actions the subjects walked on the treadmill at intensities that produced equivalent oxygen consumptions as during the arm actions and heart rate was recorded. T-tests and an analysis of covariance were used to compare the data.

Three of the 5 arm actions performed elicitied [sic] higher heart rates in proportion to oxygen consumption, while two arm actions elicited heart rates that reflected the oxygen consumption. Therefore, heart rate may not be a reliable indicator of intensity in low-impact aerobic dance exercise and the training benefits may be less when the arm movements are exaggerated, especially compared to activities like running and bicycling. It may be advisable to use a higher heart rate training zone to help insure that a high enough intensity is being met.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


School of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Services

First Advisor

Forrest Dolgener

Second Advisor

Larry D. Hensley

Third Advisor

Elton Green


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Date Original


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