Article Title



L Nielsen
R Foley


L. Nielsen, R. Foley

Northwest University

Low cardiorespiratory fitness is associated with an increase in risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) and premature death. However, while recognized as an important risk factor to consider when assessing health, it is not routinely assessed in clinical settings. PURPOSE: To assess the accuracy and validity of the Garmin Venu SQ’s VO2max estimations. METHODS: Healthy, college-aged students (n=13) completed three exercise trials while wearing the Garmin Venu SQ. Participants first ran two trials of the 1.5-mile standardized run test to produce a watch estimation of VO2max before completing a VO2max test on a treadmill in a laboratory using a metabolic analyzer (Parvo Medics TrueOne 2400). The watch estimation of VO2max was then compared to the VO2max attained in the laboratory to assess the level of agreement between the two measures. RESULTS: The mean estimated VO2max from the Garmin watch was 53.3 ± 6.2 ml/kg/min, while the mean VO2max measured in the laboratory was 54.6 ± 11.7 ml/kg/min. A Bland-Altman plot shows “good agreement” (all case-wise differences lie within ±2 SD of the mean difference) between the watch estimation and the measured VO2max values, but also shows a proportional bias in high-fitness (near or above a measured VO2max of 60 ml/kg/min) participants. The Garmin watch tends to produce a lower VO2max estimation for those with higher fitness, relative to measured VO2max, and vice versa. In addition, the spread among the data points is higher among those with higher fitness. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate that the estimated VO2max produced by the Garmin Venu SQ has good overall agreement with actual VO2max values measured in a laboratory setting. However, the fitness tracker may underestimate VO2max in highly-fit individuals.

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