Traditional fitness testing can be a costly and time-consuming process, but a new method that could save you a lot of money is now just a few clicks away.
Researchers did a study to see if they could obtain an accurate estimate of a person’s fitness level, as well as their risk of premature death, by using a simple algorithm that analyzes traditional health risk factors.
“We found that estimating fitness was enough to predict future risk of premature death from all causes,” explained Javaid Nauman, PhD, and Bjarne M. Nes, PhD, first co-authors of the study. “There was no need to perform complicated risk score algorithms that traditionally are used to calculate risk.”
The technology tested and estimated fitness level by predicting the risk of premature death from heart disease and taking into account ill health and other risk factors such as high blood pressure, smoking status, alcohol consumption, family history of heart disease, and diabetes.
Using VO2 Max to Determine Fitness Age
Researchers analyzed data on 38,480 men and women who used the algorithm-based tool and were followed for up to 16 years.
They determined fitness age using a person’s VO2 max, which describes the maximum amount of oxygen your body takes in while exercising. VO2 max is used to measure cardiovascular endurance. For example, if yours is below average compared to other people your age, it means your fitness age is greater than your chronological age. And the reverse also holds true. If your VO2 max is above average in comparison to individuals your age, it means your fitness age is younger than your birth age.
“With the increase in lifestyle-related diseases around the world, estimated fitness is an easy, cost-effective method that could significantly help medical professionals identify people at high risk and improve patient management,” commented co-author Carl J. Lavie, MD, from the John Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute, New Orleans, LA.
Find Your Fitness Age
If you’re curious to know how your fitness age, it’s as easy as entering your information into this easy online calculator.
“And just as importantly, it is a test that individuals can easily use to assess his/her own Fitness Number and Fitness Age, and in cases of low fitness do something about it!” noted Ulrik Wisløff, PhD, lead investigator of the study. “The only thing needed is access to the Internet and/or a smartphone as we have made this tool freely available (as apps on Google Play and Apple Store).”