Mechanisms of Action and Influence, and Effectiveness of Various Methods of Phrophylaxis Directed Toward Prevention of Disturbances of the Human Locomotion System in Weightlessness (Profilaktika-1 (Prophylaxis-1)) - 10.25.17

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ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
Profilaktika uses physical activity to counteract the effects of microgravity on the human body. During physical activity such as riding the stationary bike or running on the treadmill: gas levels are measured via a breathing mask and heart rate is evaluated.
Science Results for Everyone
In space you should run and walk. Physical activity counteracts many of microgravity’s effects on the human body, but researchers learned some activities work better than others. Astronauts on the space station showed significant decline in conditioning early in flight followed by recovery to preflight or near-preflight levels. The investigation also compared various modes of physical training and found interval training – alternating intensive walking and quick running—to be much more effective at maintaining muscle than training at moderate capacity. Running and walking were also found to be more effective than cycling because those activities place more load on the body.  

The following content was provided by Inessa B. Kozlovskaya, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sc., and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Experiment Details


Principal Investigator(s)
Inessa B. Kozlovskaya, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sc., Institute of Biomedical Problems, Moscow, Russia

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Sponsoring Space Agency
Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos)

Sponsoring Organization
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Research Benefits
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ISS Expedition Duration
December 2001 - June 2002; April 2003 - April 2006; September 2006 - October 2007; April 2008 - October 2008

Expeditions Assigned

Previous Missions
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Experiment Description

Research Overview
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Obtaining new data on the mechanisms and efficiency of various modes of physical prevention of adverse micro-gravity effects on human organism - reduction of orthostatic stability (human body tolerance to moving from horizontal to vertical position), reduction of aerobic (respiratory) capabilities, reduction in strength and endurance of skeletal muscles, skeletal muscle atrophy, bone demineralization.

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Space Applications
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Earth Applications
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Operational Requirements and Protocols
Accusport device, TEEM-100M gas-analyzer, TEEM-100M Profilaktika kits, Reflotron-4 system to conduct blood tests analysis, TVIS treadmill, VB-3 stationary bicycle, Force loader NS-1.
Comparative assessment of the effects of bicycle, locomotor exercises on: Cosmonaut physical capacity for work in space flight environment; Energy support of muscle activity; Structural and functional indices of the muscular system in space flight conditions; Functional indices of the cardio-respiratory system in space flight conditions; Human metabolism in space flight conditions. Preparation of inputs for further improvement of standard systems of physical prophylaxis.

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

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Results/More Information

The results of the Profilaktika experiment indicated that the crew member’s state of physical conditioning has clearly marked phases. During the first phase, their performance declined significantly, with subsequent restoration of the preflight (or near-preflight) level. This pattern was clearly reflected in the results of all tests. It must also be noted that the cost of the locomotion load was significantly higher than that of the cycle ergometer. This may be related to the fact that during performance of a running test with a load equivalent to 70% of one's body weight—a load that is absent during the cycle ergometer test—the physiological cost was determined through activity, not just dynamically, but through the tonic muscle system, which required greater expenditures to support its functionality.

Comparative analysis of the various modes of physical training used aboard the International Space Station demonstrated the high effectiveness of intense exercise characterized by sequencing intensive walking and quick running (so-called interval training) and the significantly lower effectiveness of training in the moderate capacity zone with an aerobic energy supply. Interval training provides a high level of physical performance and levels out the negative changes in the oxygen transport system caused by microgravity. The mechanisms of energy supply for muscle activity remained at the preflight level in a group of crew members who performed interval training in the course of one flight, while another group who trained at lower intensity exhibited a significantly higher physiological and energy costs (less efficient). Analysis of physical performance showed a significantly higher level in the locomotion test, which makes it possible to assess not only the level of physical conditioning. It was also possible to asses the physiological load caused by the need to maintain posture, which is reflected in the magnitude of shifts in autonomous functions and in energy supply mechanisms.

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Results Publications

    Popov DV, Khusnutdinova DR, Shenkman BS, Vinogradova OL, Kozlovskaya IB.  Dynamics of Physical Performance During Long-Duration SPace Flight (First Results of "Countermeasure" Experiment). Journal of Gravitational Physiology. 2004 Jul; 11(2): 231-232. PMID: 16240524.

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Ground Based Results Publications

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ISS Patents

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Related Publications

    Kozlovskaya IB, Yarmanova EN, Fomina EV.  The Russian system of preventive countermeasures: Its present and future. Human Physiology. 2015 December 22; 41(7): 704-711. DOI: 10.1134/S0362119715070075. [Original Russian Text © I.B. Kozlovskaya, E.N. Yarmanova, E.V. Fomina, 2013, published in Aviakosmicheskaya i Ekologicheskaya Meditsina, 2013, Vol. 47, No. 1, pp. 13–20.]

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Related Websites
Energia - Science Research on the ISS Russian Segment

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