What Does Cycle Ergometer Mean?
A cycle ergometer is a stationary exercise bike that measures the amount of work done by pedalling the bike.
Cycle ergometers can be used as part of fitness tests, including those administered for workplace health and safety programs. These tests can provide a baseline measure of a worker's physical capabilities and determine whether they have the energy, strength, or stamina required to safely perform physically demanding work.
Cycle ergometers are also known as bicycle ergometers.
Safeopedia Explains Cycle Ergometer
The cycle ergometer's chief purpose is measuring cardiac performance. Specifically, maximum heart rate and oxygen uptake.
Other forms of ergometry that do not use stationary bicycles include treadmill-based ergometric testing. The type of test and equipment will depend on the goal of the test as well as individual comfort and ability. For instance, individuals with a limited range of motion at the knees may have difficulty rotating the cycle ergometer's pedals and would therefore require an alternative testing method.
Specific Testing Protocols
Cycle ergometers are used as part of standardized fitness testing procedures that assess individual performance based on a set of defined parameters. Specific tests that involve cycle ergometers include the YMCA Sub Max Cycle Ergometer Test and the Astrand-Rhyming (A-R) Cycle Ergometer Test.
YMCA Sub Max Cycle Ergometer Test
This test is a submaximal cycle ergometer aerobic fitness test. The heart rate response of the individual taking this test provides an estimate of the workload or VO2max they could reach if they had continued until their maximum heart rate.
Astrand-Rhyming (A-R) Cycle Ergometer Test
This test is based on the relationship between heart rate during work and the percentage of maximal aerobic capacity. It estimates VO2max using a single-stage, six-minute submaximal cycling protocol.
The A-R test is easier to perform than the YMCA test, making it a suitable option for trainers new to cycle ergometer testing. Inexperienced riders might find riding for six minutes at moderate to hard intensity fatiguing.
Fitness Testing for Workplace Safety
Some high-risk industries involve physically demanding activities or tasks that place an intense level of stress on the body. Employees may need to complete a fitness test to ensure they can carry out the work without undue risk or difficulty.
This type of fitness-to-work assessment constitutes a form of statutory employee medical surveillance. To respect each individual's right to medical privacy, these assessments must be performed by qualified professionals and no specific clinical details beyond whether an employee is fit for duty or not should be shared with the employer.