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J Pediatr. 2009 May;154(5):677-81. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2008.11.032. Epub 2009 Jan 23.

Submaximal treadmill test predicts VO2max in overweight children.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI, USA.



To demonstrate the ability of a submaximal test to predict VO(2max) in overweight children.


A total of 130 children, 11 to 14 years old, with body mass index >85 percentile for age and sex performed a submaximal walking test. VO(2max) was measured by using open circuit spirometry during a graded exercise test to volitional fatigue. An equation to predict VO(2max) was modeled by using the variables of sex, weight (kg), height (cm), heart rate (HR) after 4 minutes during the submaximal test (4minHR), HR difference (4minHR - resting HR), and submaximal treadmill speed (miles per hour [mph]) in 75% of the subjects. Validation was performed by using the remaining 25% of subjects.


A total of 113 subjects achieved a maximal effort and was used in the statistical analysis. Development and validation groups were similar in all aspects. On validation, the mean square error was 241.06 with the predicted VO(2max) within 10% of the observed value in 67% of subjects.


VO(2max) was accurately predicted in this cohort of overweight children by using a submaximal, treadmill-based testing protocol.

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