Physical activity patterns associated with cardiorespiratory fitness and reduced mortality: the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study

Am J Public Health. 1998 Dec;88(12):1807-13. doi: 10.2105/ajph.88.12.1807.


Objectives: This study examined cross sectionally the physical activity patterns associated with low, moderate, and high levels of cardiorespiratory fitness.

Methods: Physical activity was assessed by questionnaire in a clinic population of 13,444 men and 3972 women 20 to 87 years of age. Estimated energy expenditure (kcal.wk-1) and volume (min.wk-1) of reported activities were calculated among individuals at low, moderate, and high fitness levels (assessed by maximal exercise tests).

Results: Average leisure time energy expenditures of 525 to 1650 kcal.wk-1 for men and 420 to 1260 kcal.wk-1 for women were associated with moderate to high levels of fitness. These levels of energy expenditure can be achieved with a brisk walk of approximately 30 minutes on most days of the week. In fact, men in the moderate and high fitness categories walked between 130 and 138 min.wk-1, and women in these categories walked between 148 and 167 min.wk-1.

Conclusions: Most individuals should be able to achieve these physical activity goals and thus attain a cardiorespiratory fitness level sufficient to result in substantial health benefits.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cardiovascular Physiological Phenomena*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Exercise Test
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mortality*
  • Physical Fitness / physiology*
  • Respiratory Physiological Phenomena*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors