: These factors are clearly associated with lower physical fitness in people aged 50 to 64. A study with more than 5,000 participants, examining the correlations in detail, showed major fitness disparities.
Current study at the University of Gothenburg published in the scientific journal BMJ Open, The study included 5,308 participants aged 50-64, of whom 51% were female. The article describes how maximum oxygen uptake (commonly known as VO2 max), a common measure of fitness, varies from one demographic group to another.
The variables assessed were sociodemographics (age, gender, education, etc.), lifestyle factors, perceived health, body measurements, disease prevalence, self-rated physical activity, and sedentariness measured with an accelerometer.
highly unequal fitness distribution
Each participant completed a cycling fitness test wearing an accelerometer on an elastic band around the waist. The objective was to collect one-week measurements of the frequency, duration and intensity level of individuals’ exertion on a daily basis and during training sessions, if any.
The study’s first author is Mats Börjesson, professor of sports physiology at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg.
“The results revealed groups at higher risk of low fitness. These were older and/or foreign-born people with lower educational levels, larger waist sizes, poorer self-perceived health and highly sedentary lifestyles, who did slightly higher-intensity activities.” did physical activity, and those who started passively by car or public transportation,” says Borgeson.
Among the group of men in the study, tight personal finances and previous tobacco smoking were also linked to lower fitness, for which the results show an uneven distribution across the population as a whole.
There is a critical need for the ability to focus on a variety of inputs to promote fitness in these groups, or to take other measures to prevent poor health, given that people have low fitness levels. Such knowledge partially existed before, but was then usually derived from studies of few participants or select groups, such as only men or people from a specific socioeconomic group.
Valuable for health care and research
More detailed knowledge of fitness disparities between groups provides essential information from a broader perspective. Elin Ekblom Bak is a research fellow in sports science at the Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences (Gymnastik- och idrotshögkolan, GIH), and corresponding author of the study.
“This is one of the first studies that has been able to explore the relationship between physical activity versus sedentary behavior, on the one hand, as measured with an accelerometer, and fitness, on the other. Sedentary and high-intensity physical activity are independently related.” found to be strongly associated with low and high fitness levels, respectively. Overall, this study provides valuable knowledge for health care services as well as for future research and public health efforts,” says Ekblom Bach. .
This article is based on the Swedish Cardiopulmonary Bioimage Study (SCAPIS), with the Swedish Heart Lung Foundation as the main funder.