The effects of aging on muscular efficiency are controversial. Proponents for increased efficiency suggest that age-related changes in muscle enhance efficiency in senescence. Exercise study results are mixed due to varying modalities, ages, and efficiency calculations. The present study attempted to address oxygen uptake, caloric expenditure, walking economy, and gross
et cycling efficiency in young (18-59 years old) and older (60-81 years old) adults (N=444). Walking was performed at three miles per hour by 86 young (mean = 29.60, standard deviation (SD) = 10.50 years old) and 121 older adults (mean = 66.80, SD = 4.50 years old). Cycling at 50 watts (60-70 revolutions per minute) was performed by 116 young (mean= 29.00, SD= 10.00 years old) and 121 older adults (m = 67.10 SD = 4.50 years old). Steady-state sub-maximal gross
et oxygen uptake and caloric expenditures from each activity and rest were analyzed. Net walking economy was represented by net caloric expenditure (kilocalories/kilogram/min). Cycling measures included percent gross
et cycling efficiency (kilo-calorie derived). Linear regressions were used to assess each measure as a function of age. Differences in age group means were assessed using independent t-tests for each modality (alpha = 0.05). No significant differences in mean oxygen uptake nor walking economy were found between young and older walkers (p>0.05). Older adults performing cycle ergometry demonstrated lower gross
et oxygen uptakes and lower gross caloric expenditures (p< 0.05).