Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Human Performance and Health Education


Health, Physical Education & Recreation

First Advisor

Dr. Timothy J. Michael

Second Advisor

Dr. Roger M. Zabik

Third Advisor

Dr. YuanLong Liu

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Mary L. Dawson

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The study compared the effects of moving handlebars versus stationary handlebars during forward or backward pedaling on the Precor® EFX™ 556 elliptical trainer. The variables measured were: heart rate, heart rate as a percent of maximum heart rate, relative VO2, relative VO2 as a percent of VO2 max, absolute CE, relative CE, RPE for arms, RPE for chest, RPE for legs and RPE for overall body. The 12 subjects completed four conditions - arm use with FR pedaling, no arm use with FR pedaling, arm use with BK pedaling, and no arm use with BK pedaling, at three resistance levels - 4, 8, 12, and pedaled at 100 strides per minute. ANOVA analyses indicated that increased resistance produced greater physiological and RPE values. However, ANOVA analyses revealed that the use of moving handlebars produced similar physiological and perceptual responses when compared to stationary handlebars during forward or backward pedaling. Although the EFX™ 556 elliptical trainer allowed variety of workout combinations and would be a reliable cardiovascular exercise machine for improving and maintaining aerobic fitness, it did not provide a total body exercise.