C. Selland, J. Meendering, & M. Vukovich
South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD

One of the primary parameters of health-related fitness is cardiorespiratory fitness (VO2peak). The Leger et al. equation used to predict VO2peak from the Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER) appears to underestimate VO2peak in children. Furthermore, there is a high degree of variability in the current equation used to predict VO2peak from the PACER test in children. Consequently, misclassification of VO2peak may result, warranting revisions to the original prediction equation. Purpose: The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate the difference between measured VO2peak from the PACER and a maximal treadmill test. The secondary purpose was to compare the VO2peak measured during the PACER with VO2peak predicted from the equation by Leger et al. Methods: Fifty-one participants (31 males, 20 females) aged 7-14 years had VO2peak assessed during a maximal treadmill test and the PACER. Expired gases were analyzed and averaged over 5-second periods with the Oxycon mobile. Performance measures (VO2peak, heart rate, and respiratory exchange ratio) were compared between testing modes. Measured VO2peak from the PACER was compared to VO2peak predicted from the equation developed by Leger et al. Paired sample t-tests were used to identify significant differences between outcomes of interest (α = 0.05). Results: Heart rate (198 ± 8.7 vs. 191.4 ± 14.9 bpm), respiratory exchange ratio (1.13 ± .08 vs. 1.05 ± .08), and VO2peak (49.4 ± 8.9 vs. 45.2 ± 7.3 ml•kg•min-1) were higher during the PACER than the maximal treadmill test (p < 0.001 for all). The mean difference between PACER and treadmill VO2peak was 4.3 ± 7.4 ml•kg•min-1 (p < 0.001), while the standard error of the measurement was 1.01 ml•kg•min-1. Measured VO2peak during the PACER was greater than predicted VO2peak from the Leger et al. equation used to assess cardiorespiratory fitness from the PACER (49.4 ± 8.9 vs. 44.9 ± 3.7 ml•kg•min-1, p < 0.001). Conclusion: The PACER resulted in significantly greater VO2peak values compared to a maximal treadmill test and VO2peak predicted from the Leger et al. equation. The development of a more accurate equation to predict VO2peak from the PACER may reduce the variability in the prediction of cardiorespiratory fitness in children.

NACSM Professional Sponsor: Matthew Vukovich

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