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Astronauts may need more intense workouts to maintain muscle fitness in space
Date:4/2/2009

MUNCIE, Ind. A new study in the The Journal of Applied Physiology, suggests that astronauts need to modify their workouts to avoid extensive muscle loss during missions onboard the International Space Station (ISS).

The latest NASA-sponsored research from Ball State University's Human Performance Laboratory (HPL) suggests that changes are needed to optimize the inflight exercise regimen for astronauts to improve their muscle performance while in space for extended stays.

Average stays on the ISS run about six months, and preservation of crewmember health in zero-gravity environments is paramount for safety and mission success. Since exercise is the primary course of action to protect the cardiovascular system, bone, and skeletal muscles, astronauts need to find the optimal exercises to stay fit.

(Please see our related video at: http://www.bsu.edu/web/news/nasa/. To find the study, please go to: http://jap.physiology.org/cgi/content/full/106/4/1159?maxtoshow=&HITS=10&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&author1=trappe&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&sortspec=relevance&resourcetype=HWCIT.)

The findings of the Ball State study were based in part on muscle biopsies taken from the astronauts, the first time this procedure has been allowed on crewmembers who have completed long-flight missions, according to Scott Trappe, HPL director.

Working with NASA, Marquette University's biological sciences department, Wyle Integrated Science and Engineering Group in Houston, and the Medical College of Wisconsin, Trappe found that even while the crewmembers exercised, they still lost an average of 15 percent muscle mass and 20 to 30 percent loss of muscle performance.

"By clinical standards, this is a massive
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Contact: Scott Trappe
strappe@bsu.edu
765-285-1145
American Physiological Society
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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