Cardiovascular Fitness: Maximal Oxygen Intake Measurement and its Significance

If a person is tested at a progressively increasing rate on a device such as a treadmill, a point is eventually reached where a further increase of belt speed and/or slope produces no further appreciable increase in the individual's intake of oxygen (an increase of less than 150 mL/min, or 2 mL/kg/min with a further increase in work rate). The oxygen transport observed at this intensity of effort is termed the person's maximal oxygen intake, a value widely accepted by exercise physiologists as the best single measure of an individual's cardiovascular fitness and ability to undertake endurance effort.

This entry discusses the determinants of maximal oxygen intake, direct and indirect methods of measurements, typical normative values, and their practical significance.

Determinants of Maximal Oxygen Intake

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