Alex McGowan1, Kayla Brown2, Qiana D. Bryan1, Patricia Pagan Lassalle1, Lee Stoner, FACSM1. 1University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC. 2North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Greensboro, NC.

BACKGROUND: Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), expressed as maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max), provides an overview of an individual’s functional systems integration and is a great predictor of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. Greater levels of CRF have been shown to enhance the ability to cope with perceived stress and decrease symptoms of burnout and depression. Additionally, perceived stress has been associated with increased CVD risk. However, the relationship of biological sex on the association between CRF and perceived stress is not well characterized. The purpose of this study will be to determine whether perceived stress is associated with CRF and if biological sex moderates the association between perceived stress and CRF. METHODS: In Fall 2021, adults (18 years or older, n=>50) associated with medium to large universities (University of North Carolina, Duke University, and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University students and employees) who wear a smartwatch (including Apple Watch [version 3 or greater], Polar watch, or Garmin watch) devices capable of estimating VO2max will be asked to self-report demographic information, their VO2max, and levels of perceived stress. Perceived stress will be assessed using the validated Global Perceived Stress Scale (α=0.78). All data will be obtained using online questionnaires. The association between perceived stress (independent variable) and CRF (dependent variable/outcome) and effect measure modification by biological sex will be analyzed using multivariable regression. ANTICIPATED RESULTS: We hypothesize that decreased perceived stress will be associated with greater CRF. Further, this association will vary by biological sex, with females experiencing greater stress and impaired CRF. This study will inform whether the association between perceived stress and CRF varies by biological sex and contribute to our understanding of CVD risk development in females, an underrepresented and understudied group.

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