Variations in Maximal Oxygen Intake with Physical Activity in Middle-Aged Men
Data on maximal exercise performance are presented for normal middle-aged men free of cardiovascular disease. Maximal oxygen intake, oxygen pulse, heart rate, and lactate levels all decrease with increasing age.
Physical activity defined by habitual running of any amount had a highly significant effect on maximal oxygen consumption. The enhanced effect of physical activity was found equivalent to nearly 10 years of age effect on maximal aerobic capacity.
Multivariate analysis revealed significant association between maximal oxygen intake and several coronary risk factors; specifically, physical activity, vital capacity, cigarette smoking, and body weight. Notably lacking in significance were other known risk factors, serum cholesterol, and blood pressure.
Data for maximal oxygen intake on healthy men aged 40 to 70 years are presented by age group and physical activity class; and regression equations are provided for estimation of maximal oxygen intake from age, physical activity status, and duration of the multistage treadmill test. These data should prove useful as normal standards for assessment of aerobic capacity in middle-aged men until such time as larger numbers of data on maximal exercise testing become available.
- Received November 19, 1969.
- Accepted December 29, 1969.
- © 1970 American Heart Association, Inc.