The physiology of submaximal exercise: The steady state concept

Guido Ferretti, Nazzareno Fagoni, Anna Taboni, Paolo Bruseghini, Giovanni Vinetti

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista


The steady state concept implies that the oxygen flow is invariant and equal at each level along the respiratory system. The same is the case with the carbon dioxide flow. This condition has several physiological consequences, which are analysed. First, we briefly discuss the mechanical efficiency of exercise and the energy cost of human locomotion, as well as the roles played by aerodynamic work and frictional work. Then we analyse the equations describing the oxygen flow in lungs and in blood, the effects of ventilation and of the ventilation perfusion inequality, and the interaction between diffusion and perfusion in the lungs. The cardiovascular responses sustaining gas flow increase in blood are finally presented. An equation linking ventilation, circulation and metabolism is developed, on the hypothesis of constant oxygen flow in mixed venous blood. This equation tells that, if the pulmonary respiratory quotient stays invariant, any increase in metabolic rate is matched by a proportional increase in ventilation, but by a less than proportional increase in cardiac output.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)76-85
Numero di pagine10
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2017


  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Cardiac Output
  • Cardiac output
  • Energy cost
  • Exercise
  • Exercise efficiency
  • Humans
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Oxygen consumption
  • Respiration
  • Respiratory quotient
  • Ventilation


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