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Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate scuba diving induced exercise response in novice divers as required in open water scuba diving certification.
Methods: Maximal cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPET) was performed in 30 novice divers before and within 24 hours after a standard scuba diving open water certification diving protocol of four open water dives.
Results: A significant increase in maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) in mL·kg-1·min-1 after scuba diving training [25.84 (6.0) vs. 27.04 (7.0)] (p<0.05) suggestive of an increase in exercise performance. Ventilatory drive (VE/VCO2) also showed a significant increase 27.95 (2.7) vs. 30.07 (5.3). Ventilatory anaerobic threshold (VAT), blood pressure and lung function parameters showed no significant differences with open water scuba diving certification training.
Conclusion: In novice divers, repeated training exposure during open water scuba diving certification results in increased cardiorespiratory fitness. Although further corroborating studies are needed, this would suggest that recreational scuba diving may be an option for exercise promotion in the future.
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