Cycle Ergometer

Definition - What does Cycle Ergometer mean?

A cycle ergometer is a type of stationary exercise bicycle equipped with an ergometer instrument that measures the amount of work done by the individual peddling the bike. The term “ergometer” refers to the science of ergometry, a discipline concerned with measuring the amount of physical work done by the human body during specific activities.

Cycle ergometers are one of a number of different types of ergometers that may be used as part of fitness tests. These tests are commonly used as part of workplace health and safety programs that require employees to demonstrate a level of physical capability in order to be approved to conduct specific, physically intensive work activities that have been found to involve a certain level of risk to health and safety.

Safeopedia explains Cycle Ergometer

The purpose of a cycle ergometer is chiefly to measure cardiac performance—specifically, maximum heart rate and oxygen uptake. Cycle ergometers are used as part of standardized testing procedures that evaluate the tested individual against set performance criteria and that occur according within a set of defined parameters.

Specific tests that utilize cycle ergometers include the YMCA Sub Max Cycle Ergometer Test and the simpler-to-perform Astrand-Rhyming (A-R) Cycle Ergometer Test. Other forms of ergometry that do not use stationary bicycles include treadmill-based ergometric testing. The type of test selected for use depends on the goal of the test, as well as whether an individual can comfortably perform a specific test. Individuals with limited range of motion at the knees may have difficulty rotating bicycle pedals and therefore would require an alternative form of testing.

In some high-risk industries such as construction, employees are not legally allowed to engage in specific physically demanding or otherwise-stressful activities without first demonstrating their fitness to work. The resulting fitness-to-work assessments constitute a form of statutory employee medical surveillance. Employees that must undergo medical surveillance do not lose their right to medical privacy. Medical assessments must be performed by a qualified professional, and the specific clinical details related to patients may not be shared with the employer beyond whether the employee is fit to work.

In most advanced jurisdictions, health assessments are mandatory whenever a risk assessment has demonstrated that a failure to possess proper fitness when completing or otherwise engaging in a task would result in excessive health and/or safety risks to the employee or their colleagues.

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