Physical fitness a demographic watershed

Sedentary behavior, a large waist circumference, and advanced age: These factors are clearly associated with inferior physical fitness among people aged 50 to 64. In a study with over 5,000 participants, investigating the correlations in detail, major fitness disparities are shown.

Fitness is a vital factor for performance in sports, but also for the stamina required for exercising and leading an active everyday life. Previous studies have shown a strong connection between good fitness and various sickness and health outcomes, including reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.

The present study, published in the scientific journal BMJ Open, involved 5,308 participants aged 50-64, 51% of whom were women. The article describes how maximal oxygen uptake (commonly known as VO2 max), a common measure of fitness, varies from one demographic group to another.

The variables evaluated were sociodemographic (age, gender, education, etc.), lifestyle factors, perceived health, body measurements, disease prevalence, and self-appraised physical activity and sedentariness measured with an accelerometer.

Highly uneven fitness distribution

Every participant completed a cycling fitness test, while wearing an accelerometer on an elastic band around the waist. The purpose was to collect a week’s measurements of the frequency, duration, and intensity level of individuals’ exertion, both on an everyday basis and during training sessions, if any.

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