Aquatic cycling—What do we know? A scoping review on head-out aquatic cycling

Over the past few years, aquatic cycling has become a trending fitness activity. However, the literature has not been reviewed exhaustively. Therefore, using scoping review methodology , the aim of this review was to explore the current state of the literature concerning aquatic cycling. This study specifically focused on study designs, populations and outcomes. A comprehensive search of seven databases (PubMed, MEDLINE, Cinahl, Em-base, PEDro,Web of Science, WorldCat) was conducted up to 30 th September 2016. GoogleScholar, World Cat, ResearchGate, specific aquatic therapy websites and aquatic therapy journals were searched to identify additional literature. Full-text publications in English, German or Dutch were included. Studies were included when the intervention involved head-out cycling carried out in 10˚to10˚to 35˚Celsius35˚Celsius water. Exclusion criteria were the use of wet suits or confounding interventions that would affect participants’ homeostasis. 63 articles were included and the study parameters of these studies were summarized. Using three grouping themes, included studies were categorised as 1) single session tests comparing aquatic versus land cycling, or 2) aquatic cycling only sessions investigating different exercise conditions and 3) aquatic cycling intervention programmes. Although the experimental conditions differed noticeably across the studies, shared characteristics were identified. Cardiovascular parameters were investigated by many of the studies with the results suggesting that the cardiac demand of aquatic cycling seems similar to land-based cycling. Only six studies evaluated the effect of aquatic cycling interventions. Therefore, future research should investigate the effects of aquatic cycling interventions, preferably in individuals that are expected to gain health benefits from aquatic cycling. Moreover, this comprehensive outline of available literature could serve as a starting point for systematic reviews or clinical studies on the effects of aquatic cycling on the cardiovascular responses.

Study written by: Stefanie Rewald, Ilse Mesters and co.

View the full study here.

Source: Rewald, Stefanie & Mesters, Ilse & Lenssen, Antoine & ☯, Jens & Bansi, Jens & Lambeck, Johan & Bie, Rob & Waller, Benjamin. (2017). Aquatic cycling—What do we know? A scoping review on head-out aquatic cycling. PLoS ONE. 12. 10.1371/journal.pone.0177704.