Degree of Physical Performance Capacity
The first sentence of the abstract (1) conforms to the traditional view in suggesting that exercise testing can be used to assess physical performance capacity. The singular is misleading: the term physical performance capacity is suitable for the purposes of systematization and distinction from other aspects of performances. Any real degree of physical performance is, however, based on a complex interaction of many performance-specific personality traits. Real professional or athletic performance can therefore not be measured by one single test, unless the special performance is tested directly or in a close-to-reality simulator—as has been the case for a long time for air pilots and other vehicle drivers. A firefighter very rarely has to cycle to the site of a fire, and his/her task-specific performance capacity can be assessed rather better by means of a test track than by using a bicycle-ergometer.
With an ergometer only the ergometric performance capacity under the actual testing conditions is assessed, and even tests done on a bicycle ergometer will yield different performance values depending on the type of ergometer. To postulate a general endurance performance capacity on the basis of such a test is far-fetched, because movement-technique and the muscle groups involved are very task-specific for each type of endurance sports—cf rowing and pedaling an ergometer, for instance.
Just one more comment for the occupational health physician: according to the stress-strain concept, exercise testing does not measure stress. What is being measured is the intensity of work or work/time (ergon = work).
Even though the article is a selective literature search, the problems described here could have been included in the “Overview and future perspective” section.
Prof. i. R. Dr. med. Hans-Volkhart Ulmer
Facharzt für Physiologie, Institut für Sportwissenschaft
Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
|1.||Löllgen H, Leyk D: Exercise testing in sports medicine. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2018; 115: 409–16 VOLLTEXT|