Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Human Performance and Health Education

First Advisor

Dr. Roger Zabik

Second Advisor

Dr. Mary Dawson

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This study compared selected cardiorespiratory responses obtained from two different respiratory valves, the Modified Otis-McKerrow and the Speak Easy, a mask-type valve, during maximal graded exercise testing of eleven distance runners. The results indicated that both maximal oxygen uptake and minute ventilation were significantly different. Values for maximal VO2 and VE were lower with the Speak Easy by 24 and 19 percent, respectively. Further analysis revealed that those differences were significant at submaximal levels as well. The trends in those responses show that the differences increase with increasing workload. However, maximal and submaximal heart rates were not significantly different between the two valves. These findings seriously question the integrity of the Speak Easy mask for use in high level treadmill testing and indicate that valve leakage represents a major flaw in its ability to provide accurate data.