Accelerometer-measured daily physical activity related to aerobic fitness in children and adolescents

J Sports Sci. 2011 Jun;29(9):887-95. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2011.578148.


Maximum oxygen uptake (VO(2PEAK)) is generally considered to be the best single marker for aerobic fitness. While a positive relationship between daily physical activity and aerobic fitness has been established in adults, the relationship appears less clear in children and adolescents. The purpose of this paper is to summarise recently published data on the relationship between daily physical activity, as measured by accelerometers, and VO(2PEAK) in children and adolescents. A PubMed search was performed on 29 October 2010 to identify relevant articles. Studies were considered relevant if they included measurement of daily physical activity by accelerometry and related to a VO(2PEAK) either measured directly at a maximal exercise test or estimated from maximal power output. A total of nine studies were identified, with a total number of 6116 children and adolescents investigated. Most studies reported a low-to-moderate relationship (r = 0.10-0.45) between objectively measured daily physical activity and VO(2PEAK). No conclusive evidence exists that physical activity of higher intensities are more closely related to VO(2PEAK), than lower intensities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Actigraphy
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Exercise Test
  • Humans
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Oxygen Consumption*
  • Physical Examination
  • Physical Exertion*
  • Physical Fitness*