Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Exercise Science

Major Professor

David Bassett

Committee Members

Edward T. Howley, Eugene C. Fitzhugh


The purpose of this study was to assess physiologic changes during a 592-mile hike of the Appalachian Trail. The participants included 2 physically active nonsmoking male adults, 23 and 26 years of age. The participants were both experienced backpackers attempting a 592-mile northbound hike of the AT in the summer of 2006. Participants were tested before and after hiking. Participants underwent the following tests: resting BP, resting HR, height and weight, body fat, BMD, lactate threshold, VO2peak, maximal HR, curl-ups, push-ups, and sit-and-reach. Although the hike was ended prematurely after 474 miles, many changes were observed. Body mass, body fat, and girth measurements (except the calf) decreased for both subjects. VO2peak and lactate threshold increased. In conclusion, many positive physiologic changes were seen after hiking 474 miles on the AT. Further research is needed on more diverse subjects attempting the entire trail.

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