Exercise influences blood flow distribution and may thereby influence tissue oxygen. Given that experimental evidence suggests exercise improves wound healing, this study was undertaken to determine the effect of exercise on subcutaneous tissue oxygen tension (PscO2). Subjects performed a treadmill test to maximum oxygen consumption (VO2) while PscO2 and subcutaneous temperature (Tsc) were measured using a tonometer and optode/thermocouple system. There were no significant differences in PscO2 between measurement points. Mean Tsc had increased 4.8% at maximum V̈O2, and 6.3% as the cool-down period ended and differed significantly across the exercise period. Changes in PscO2 and Tsc were not correlated. Oxygen availability was neither enhanced nor significantly reduced by exercise. However, PscO2 did not increase as expected in relation to increases in Tsc. Further study will determine the purported beneficial effects of exercise and the mechanism by which it may affect wound healing. ©1995 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.