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Cardiorespiratory capacity of Thai workers in different age and job categories.

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Ergonomics Unit, Rangsit University-School of Science, Pathumtani, Thailand.


The objective of this study was to assess the cardiorespiratory capacity of Thai male and female blue-collar workers in different age and occupational categories. The maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) of 70 men and 56 women was assessed using a submaximal bicycle-ergometer test supplemented with ventilatory gas analyses. The age of the subjects varied from 16 to 55 years. They worked in construction, manual materials handling and metal jobs. For the male subjects the VO2 max ranged from 1.43 to 3.50 l/min and from 21.3 to 66.3 ml/min/kg. The corresponding values for the female subjects were 0.97-2.97 l/min and 16.2-42.4 ml/min/kg. According to the European fitness classifications the mean age related VO2max of the male and female subjects can be considered moderate or poor. When compared to the European data heart rate of the subjects was 25-30% higher at submaximal levels of oxygen uptake, confirming earlier results. The low cardiorespiratory capacity of many Thai workers may be a limiting or even risk factor in physically demanding jobs.

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