1. Low level exercise is frequently used to assess cardiac and pulmonary function. This study examines the differences in both metabolic and respiratory patterns between the sitting and supine position.
2. Six normal male subjects were studied in both positions during four levels of exercise (12.5, 25, 37.5 and 50 W). Oxygen consumption (Vo2), carbon dioxide production (Vco2) and minute ventilation (Ve2) were greater when sitting as were the ventilatory equivalents to O2 (Ve2/ Vo2) and CO2 (Ve2/ Vco2).
3. Respiration was compared at equivalent workloads; the greater minute ventilation observed during sitting was due to greater tidal volumes (Vt) and mean inspiratory flows (Vt/Vi,). Expiratory time (Te) was longer and inspiratory duration shorter under most conditions when sitting.
4. When breathing patterns were compared at similar degrees of minute ventilation, Vt, Te and Vt/Ti were greater when sitting, while respiratory frequency (fr) was slower.