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Fitness Age

Senegenix / Fitness Age

Fitness Age is the biological age of one’s cardiorespiratory fitness level (VO2max). Test includes:

  1. VO2 max test
  2. Fitness Age calculation

The Fitness Age calculator has been developed by the Cardiac Exercise Research Group (CERG) of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).

In 2007 and 2008, several thousand Norwegians tested their VO2max on a treadmill in The HUNT Fitness Study. They also answered several questions and had a complete health check-up as part of the third HUNT study (HUNT3). Therefore, it could be established the most important parameters that predict fitness among healthy women and men. These parameters – namely age, waist circumference or body mass index (BMI), leisure-time physical activity and resting heart rate – are those included in the algoritm for the Fitness Calculator to predict VO2max and calculate Fitness Age. Through a unique colaboration between Senegenix and CERG the Fitness Age Calculator was applied to a measurement of VO2max for individual subjects.

Using the Fitness Calculator, CERG showed that the estimated fitness number is of great importance for how long you can expect to live. They estimated fitness in 37,000 healthy individuals who participated in the HUNT1 study in the 1980s. They were then followed for 24 years and looked at health outcomes. The risk of dying from cardiovascular disease was 21% lower for each increase of 3.5 mL/kg/min, or 1 MET. This associations persisted after adjusting the analysis for confounding factors. The risk of dying from all causes during follow-up was also gradually reduced with better fitness. Moreover, the number you get from The Fitness Calculator seems to be all you really need to estimate the risk of cardiovascular disease and premature death in presumably healthy individuals. CERG studied this in almost 40,000 participants from the HUNT study who were followed for up to 17 years. The calculator estimated the risk about just as good on its own as when traditional risk factors for cardiovascular disease are included in the model.

Answers from more than 730,000 healthy persons have made it possible to create a database on the fitness levels for people in different countries and on all continents. The database could – in combination with the Fitness Calculator – potentially be used by health services in all countries to identify population groups and individual patients with especially high risk of cardiovascular disease and other non-communicable diseases.

Some results from the database:

  • The average man in the world has a fitness number of 50.4
  • The average woman in the world has a fitness number of 40.6
  • The average man sits 7.2 hours a day
  • The average woman sits 6.8 hours a day
  • Regular physical activity eliminates the increased risk associated with a sedentary lifestyle: Even among those who reported to sit a lot, individuals who reported to exercise according to guidelines had significantly higher estimated VO2max than individuals who did not.
  • VO2max is lower the older you are.