We welcome the thoughtful contribution of Drs Cunha and Leites ( 7 ) to the current debate on interpreting youth aerobic fitness and concur with their conclusion that the indiscriminate use of ratio scaling of peak V ˙ O 2 with body mass is fallacious. We would go further and challenge Pediatric
Neil Armstrong and Jo Welsman
Patricia E. Longmuir and Roy J. Shephard
An arm ergometer analog of the Canadian Aerobic Fitness Test (CAFT) has been proposed for subjects with impairments of mobility (Longmuir & Shephard, 1995). Because of muscle weakness or spasm, only 63% of the adults concerned could maintain the required cadence in the original test version. Thus, in the present study it was hypothesized that a reduced crank loading would yield a higher success rate. In a sample of 35 adults with mobility impairment, 82% were able to complete at least one stage of the modified test. Difficulty was encountered mainly by persons with cerebral palsy or multiple sclerosis. The revised protocol had a high (r = .97) 1-week test/retest reliability, with no test/retest bias except that subjects with brain lesions scored somewhat higher at their second assessment. A scaled prediction of peak oxygen intake using the standard CAFT equation agreed closely with direct arm ergometer determinations of it. The modified test showed a mean discrepancy ±SD of 0.1 ± 4.8 ml/[kg · min]. Further validation is needed, but the current analog of the standard CAFT appears to be useful for many with mobility impairments.
Jennifer L Etnier, Diana H. Romero and Tinna Traustadóttir
Evidence suggests that cognitive ability declines with advancing age but that aerobic fitness can serve to minimize or even negate these declines. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between age, fitness, and retention. Twenty younger (M=24.2 years) and 18 older adults (M=66.6 years) practiced on the mirror star trace until they achieved a criterion. VO2max was measured. The number of trials required to reach criterion was predicted by VO2max, p < .001. and age, p < .02. Retention distance was also predicted by VO2max, p < .001, and age, p < .001. Analysis of relative alpha change at P3 and F4 indicated that a relative increase in left-hemisphere alpha and a relative decrease in right-hemisphere alpha were associated with retention errors. Thus, older and less aerobically fit adults required more trials to reach criterion and performed less well at retention, and changes in brain activity were associated with retention errors.
Anne W. Garcia and Jennifer S. Zakrajsek
The objective of this study was to evaluate the utility of the Canadian Aerobic Fitness Test (CAFT), a field measure of cardiovascular fitness. After providing anthropometric measures, 31 subjects, ages 10 to 15, completed a maximal treadmill test and the CAFT, a 3-stage step test. Multiple regression analyses were conducted where maximal oxygen consumption from the treadmill test was estimated based on the oxygen cost of stepping, age and various combinations of body composition. For the total sample, the best model (R = 0.79, SEE = 6.7), obtained from the sum of 4 skinfolds, was the body composition estimate. This model was slightly more accurate for males (R = 0.83, SEE = 6.0) than for females (R = 0.77, SEE = 7.0). When the regression equation incorporated less time consuming indicators of body composition, the predictive power, albeit lower, was still satisfactory. It appears that the CAFT can be a useful option for measuring cardiovascular fitness for youth, with the decision dependent on the purpose of the test, the testing resources, the setting, and the motivation of the subjects.
Christine Voss and Gavin R. H. Sandercock
Parental behavior is an important correlate of child health. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between perceived parental physical activity (PA) and schoolchildren’s aerobic fitness.
English schoolchildren’s (n = 4029, 54% boys, 10.0−15.9 yrs) fitness was assessed by 20 m shuttle run test and categorized using criterion-referenced standards. Parental PA was reported by the child.
Boys and girls were more likely to be fit (OR 1.4, 95% CI 1.1−1.8; OR 1.5, 95% CI 1.1−2.0; respectively) if at least 1 parent was perceived as active compared with when neither parents were. Girls were even more likely to be fit (OR 1.8, 95% CI 1.2−2.8) if both parents were active. Associations between parental PA and child fitness were generally stronger when parent and child were of the same gender, although girls with active fathers were more likely (OR 2.5, 95% CI 1.7−3.7) to be fit compared with inactive fathers.
Schoolchildren perceiving at least 1 parent as active are more likely to meet health-related fitness standards. Underlying mechanisms remain elusive, but same-gender associations suggest that social rather than genetic factors are of greater importance. Targeting parental PA or at least perceptions of parental PA should be given consideration in interventions aiming to improve child health.
Vinícius F. Milanez, Rafael E. Pedro, Alexandre Moreira, Daniel A. Boullosa, Fuad Salle-Neto and Fábio Y. Nakamura
The aim of this study was to verify the influence of aerobic fitness (VO2max) on internal training loads, as measured by the session rating of perceived exertion (session-RPE) method.
Nine male professional outfeld futsal players were monitored for 4 wk of the in-season period with regards to the weekly accumulated session-RPE, while participating in the same training sessions. Single-session-RPE was obtained from the product of a 10-point RPE scale and the duration of exercise. Maximal oxygen consumption was determined during an incremental treadmill test.
The average training load throughout the 4 wk period varied between 2,876 and 5,035 arbitrary units. Technical-tactical sessions were the predominant source of loading. There was a significant correlation between VO2max (59.6 ± 2.5 mL·kg–1 ·min–1) and overall training load accumulated over the total period (r = –0.75).
The VO2max plays a key role in determining the magnitude of an individual’s perceived exertion during futsal training sessions.
Jo Welsman and Neil Armstrong
The authors would like to thank Blais et al ( 5 ) for their very supportive comments on our Commentary, “Interpreting aerobic fitness in youth: the fallacy of ratio scaling” ( 8 ). It is extremely encouraging to hear that other pediatric exercise scientists share our concerns with indiscriminate
Georges Jabbour, Melanie Henderson, Angelo Tremblay and Marie Eve Mathieu
Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) improves aerobic fitness in children, which is usually assessed by maximal oxygen consumption. However, other indices of aerobic fitness have been understudied.
To compare net oxygen (VO2net), net energy consumption (Enet), net mechanical efficiency (MEnet), and lipid oxidation rate in active and inactive children across body weight statuses.
The sample included normal-weight, overweight, and obese children of whom 44 are active (≥30 min of MVPA/d) and 41 are inactive (<30 min of MVPA/d). VO2net, Enet, MEnet and lipid oxidation rate were determined during an incremental maximal cycling test.
Active obese participants had significantly lower values of VO2net and Enet and higher MEnet than inactive obese participants at all load stages. In addition, active obese participants showed a significantly higher lipid oxidation rate compared with inactive obese and active overweight and normal-weight participants. VO2net, Enet, and MEnet were similar across active children, regardless of body weight status.
Thirty minutes or more of MVPA per day is associated with a potentiation of aerobic fitness indicators in obese prepubertal children. Moreover, the indices of aerobic fitness of inactive obese children are significantly different from those of active obese and nonobese ones.
Samuel Blais, Joel Blanchard and Frederic Dallaire
We read with great interest the commentary titled “Interpreting Aerobic Fitness in Youth: The Fallacy of Ratio Scaling” by Welsman and Armstrong, published in Pediatric Exercise Science ( 7 ). The authors rightfully highlight the many shortcomings of aerobic fitness parameter normalization on
Neil Armstrong and Jo Welsman
We welcome Raffy Dotan’s Letter to the Editor ( 14 ) as it gives us another opportunity to promote evidence-based discussion of the development of youth aerobic fitness. Readers of our contributions to the 2019 Special Issue of Pediatric Exercise Science ( 6 , 27 , 28 ) will recall that we