Predicting aerobic power in children. A comparison of two methods

R. G. McMurray, W. K. Guion, B. E. Ainsworth, J. S. Harrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Objective. To compare the accuracy of two equations for predicting V̇O2max of children using submaximal cycle ergometry. Experimental design. Repeated measures comparing treadmill measured maximal aerobic power (V̇O2max) with two methods of predicting V̇O2max using cycle ergometry testing. Participants. Thirty-three children (15 boys and 18 girls) aged 7- 13 years served as subjects. Measures. Each child completed a treadmill graded exercise test (GXT) to volitional fatigue to assess V̇O2max. Each child also completed a progressive 9-min, three-stage, submaximal cycle ergometer test. Heart rates obtained during the last minute of each stage of the ergometer test were used to predict V̇O2max. Predictions were based on a gender-specific modification of the PWC(170) (PWC(GS)) and a modification of the PWC(195) using a 1.17 correction factor and an age and gender- adjusted estimate of resting metabolic rate. Results. The correlations between both submaximal tests and the GXT were significant (p<0.001); however, the correlation between the GXT and the PWC195 equation (r=0.807) was higher than the correlation between the GXT and the PWCGs equation (r=0.658). Analysis indicated that the PWC(GS) equation significantly underestimated the VO2max compared to either the GXT or PWC195 (GXT=45.0±7.1, PWC195=44.7±6.2, PWC(GS)=42.7±5.8 ml/kg/min; p<0.01). Conclusions. These results suggest that although the gender-specific PWCGs method is easier to compute and may be acceptable, the modified PWC195 method is a more accurate estimate of V̇O2max in children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-233
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Child
  • Exercise Test
  • Oxygen consumption

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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