Aerobic capacity reference data in 3816 healthy men and women 20-90 years
Journal article, Peer reviewed
MetadataShow full item record
Original versionPLoS ONE 2013, 8(5:e64319) 10.1371/journal.pone.0064319
Purpose: To provide a large reference material on aerobic fitness and exercise physiology data in a healthy population of Norwegian men and women aged 20–90 years. Methods: Maximal and sub maximal levels of VO2, heart rate, oxygen pulse, and rating of perceived exertion (Borg scale: 6–20) were measured in 1929 men and 1881 women during treadmill running. Results: The highest VO2max and maximal heart rate among men and women were observed in the youngest age group (20–29 years) and was 54.4±8.4 mL·kg−1·min−1 and 43.0±7.7 mL·kg−1·min−1 (sex differences, p<0.001) and 196±10 beats·min−1 and 194±9 beats·min−1 (sex differences, p<0.05), respectively, with a subsequent reduction of approximately 3.5 mL·kg−1·min−1 and 6 beats·min−1 per decade. The highest oxygen pulses were observed in the 3 youngest age groups (20–29 years, 30–39 years, 40–49 years) among men and women; 22.3 mL·beat−1±3.6 and 14.7 mL·beat−1±2.7 (sex differences, p<0.001), respectively, with no significant difference between these age groups. After the age of 50 we observed an 8% reduction per decade among both sexes. Borg scores appear to give a good estimate of the relative exercise intensity, although observing a slightly different relationship than reported in previous reference material from small populations. Conclusion: This is the largest European reference material of objectively measured parameters of aerobic fitness and exercise-physiology in healthy men and women aged 20–90 years, forming the basis for an easily accessible, valid and understandable tool for improved training prescription in healthy men and women.