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Open Access J Sports Med. 2013 Jan 21;4:19-25. doi: 10.2147/OAJSM.S39688. eCollection 2013.

Validation of an equation for estimating maximal oxygen consumption of nonexpert adult swimmers.

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Department of Physical Education, Bioscience Laboratory of Human Kinetics, Rio Grande do Norte State University, Mossoró, Brazil ; Sport Sciences Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro University, Research Center in Sport, Health and Human Development, Vila Real, Portugal.
Superior School of Physical Education, Human Performance Laboratory, Pernambuco State University, Recife, Brazil.
National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.



To validate an equation to estimate the maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) of nonexpert adult swimmers.


Participants were 22 nonexpert swimmers, male, aged between 18 and 30 years (age: 23.1 ± 3:59 years; body mass: 73.6 ± 7:39 kg; height 176.6 ± 5.53 cm; and body fat percentage: 15.9% ± 4.39%), divided into two subgroups: G1 - eleven swimmers for the VO2max oximetry and modeling of the equation; and G2 - eleven swimmers for application of the equation modeled on G1 and verification of their validation. The test used was the adapted Progressive Swim Test, in which there occurs an increase in the intensity of the swim every two laps. For normality and homogeneity of data, Shapiro-Wilk and Levene tests were used, the descriptive values of the average and standard deviation. The statistical steps were: (1) reliability of the Progressive Swim Test - through the paired t-test, intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC), and the Pearson linear correlation (R) relative to the reproducibility, the coefficient of variation (CV), and standard error measurement (SEM) for the absolute reproducibility; (2) in the model equation to estimate VO2max, a relative VO2 was established, and a stepwise multiple regression model was performed with G1 - so the variables used were analysis of variance regression (AR), coefficient of determination (R(2)), adjusted coefficient of determination (R(2)a), standard error of estimate (SEE), and Durbin-Watson (DW); (3) validation of the equation - the results were presented in graphs, where direct (G1) and estimated (G2) VO2max were compared using independent t-test, linear regression (stressing the correlation between groups), and Bland-Altman (the bias agreement of the results). All considered a statistical significance level of P < 0.05.


On the trustworthiness of the Progressive Swim Test adapted presented as high as observed (R and ICC > 0.80, CV < 10%, and SEM < 2%). In the equation model, VO2max has been considered the third model as recommended due to the values found (AR < 0.01, R = 0795, R(2) = 0633; R(2)a = 0.624, SEE = 7.21, DW = 2.06). Upon validation of the equation, no significant differences occurred between G1 and G2 (P > 0.01), linear regression stressed a correlation between the groups (R > 0.80, P < 0.01), and Bland-Altman plotting of the results was within the correlation limits of 1.96 (95% confidence interval).


The estimating equation for VO2max for nonexpert swimmers is valid for its application through the Progressive Swim Test, providing to contribute in prescribing the swimming lessons as a method of evaluating the physical condition of its practitioners.


VO2max; health; regression equation; swimming

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