Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Health and Sport Sciences

Degree Program

Exercise Physiology, MS

Committee Chair

Terson de Paleville, Daniela G.L.

Author's Keywords

Submaximal oxygen consumption; Spinal cord injury; VO2 testing


Spinal cord--Wounds and injuries--Treatment; Oxygen in the body


Exercise training is crucial to improve cardiovascular health and quality of life in people with spinal cord injuries (SCI). A key limitation is the lack the validated tests to evaluate cardiovascular fitness in this population. The purpose of this study was to validate a submaximal test to predict maximal oxygen consumption in individuals with SCI. Ten able-bodied subjects and two individuals with SCI completed an RPE-based submaximal oxygen consumption test and a graded maximal oxygen consumption test on a NuStep T4 stepper. The results indicate that prediction of VO2max from an RPE-based protocol is feasible and can produce reliable predicted VO2max values in the able bodied population. This study is a proof of concept to the implementation of a submaximal test protocol using a total body recumbent stepper to predict VO2max in able-bodied individuals. Additionally, this study shows evidence of feasibility of performing this test in SCI individuals.