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The aim of this article was to assess the oxygen-uptake efficiency slope (OUES) throughout the age span of 7 to 18 years. One hundred fourteen healthy children (58 boys and 56 girls) exercised on a treadmill by means of a modified Balke protocol. The OUES grew in a nonlinear pattern with age, and it appeared to be significantly higher in boys than in girls. There was a very strong correlation between OUES and VO2peak (r = .92), and there was a small difference between the values of OUES calculated for different exercise intensities. Stepwise-regression analysis outlined body surface area (BSA) and sex as main determinants of OUES. OUES is an objective measure of exercise capacity that does not require a maximal effort but is considerably dependent on anthropometric variables and necessitates the generation of appropriate reference values.
The authors are with the Dept. of Pathophysiology, Medical University of Plovdiv, 4002 Plovdiv, Bulgaria.