A new approach to assessing maximal aerobic power in children: the Odense School Child Study

Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol. 1989;58(6):618-24. doi: 10.1007/BF00418508.


In two experiments maximal aerobic power (VO2max) calculated from maximal mechanical power (Wmax) was evaluated in 39 children aged 9-11 years. A maximal multi-stage cycle ergometer exercise test was used with an increase in work load every 3 min. In the first experiment oxygen consumption was measured in 18 children during each of the prescribed work loads and a correction factor was calculated to estimate VO2max using the equation VO2max = 12.Wmax + 5.weight. An appropriate increase in work rate based on height was determined for boys (0.16 W.cm-1) and girls (0.15 W.cm-1) respectively. In the second experiment 21 children performed a maximal cycle ergometer exercise test twice. In addition to the procedure in the first experiment a similar exercise test was performed, but without measurement of oxygen uptake. Calculated VO2max correlated significantly (p less than 0.01) with those values measured in both boys (r = 0.90) and girls (r = 0.95) respectively, and the standard error of estimation for VO2max (calculated) on VO2max (measured) was less than 3.2%. Two expressions of relative work load (%VO2max and %Wmax) were established and found to be closely correlated. The relative work load in %VO2max could be predicted from the relative work load in %Wmax with an average standard error of 3.8%. The data demonstrate that calculated VO2max based on a maximal multi-stage exercise test provides an accurate and valid estimate of VO2max.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Exercise Test
  • Female
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption*
  • Physical Exertion*
  • Physical Fitness*
  • Respiration