The effects of acute exercise on colonic motility

Lawrence J Cheskin, M. D. Crowell, N. Kamal, B. Rosen, M. M. Schuster, W. E. Whitehead

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Changes in colonic motor activity during aerobic exercise were investigated in ten regularly exercising volunteers (five males and five females) aged 27-70 years. Motility was recorded with a catheter containing three solid-state pressure transducers spaced 5 cm apart. The motility catheter was advanced 40-50 cm from the anal verge by flexible sigmoidoscope without anesthesia at least 60 min prior to testing. Manometric recordings were made from the colon during a 1-h preexercise rest period, 1 h of jogging at 70-80% maximum heart rate, and 1-h post-exercise rest period. The dominant frequency of contractile activity in the colon shifted from 1-4 cpm during rest, to 4-9 cpm with the onset of exercise. Activity also shifted from sporadic, isolated contractions to regular, propagated contractions in six of ten subjects, five of whom reported a history of runner's diarrhoea. The dominant frequency returned to 1-4 cpm during the post-exercise period. These changes in distal colonic motility may account for the diarrhoea which some subjects experience during intense, acute exercise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-177
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Gastrointestinal Motility
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology

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    Cheskin, L. J., Crowell, M. D., Kamal, N., Rosen, B., Schuster, M. M., & Whitehead, W. E. (1992). The effects of acute exercise on colonic motility. Journal of Gastrointestinal Motility, 4(3), 173-177.