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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2005 March;45(1):13-9

language: English

Relationship between percentage of V.O2max and type of physical activity in obese and non-obese adolescents

Lazzer S. 1, Boirie Y. 1, Bitar A. 2, Petit I.3 , Meyer M. 4, Vermorel M. 5

1 Energy and Protein Metabolism Research Unit, INRA University of Auvergne, CRNH, Clermont-Ferrand, France
2 Applied Physiology Laboratory, Department of Biology Faculty of Sciences, El Jadida, Morocco
3 Biology Laboratory, UFR-STAPS Blaise Pascal University, Aubière, France
4 Hôtel-Dieu Pediatric Hospital, Clermont-Ferrand, France
5 Energy and Lipid Metabolism Research Unit, INRA Clermont-Ferrand-Theix, France


Aim. The objective of the present study was to determine oxygen uptake (V.O2) and percentage of maximum oxygen uptake (%V.O2max) in obese and non-obese adolescents during various activities in standardised conditions, and the corresponding %V.O2max in free-living conditions.
Methods. Twenty-seven obese and 50 non-obese adolescents aged 12 to 16 years participated in this study. Body composition was assessed by bioelectrical impedance analysis and dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), V.O2max by treadmill tests, V.O2 corresponding to various activities by whole body calorimetry, and time and % V.O2max corresponding to various activities in free-living conditions using the heart-rate recording method and a physical activity diary.
Results. V.O2max (l/min) was 27.4% higher in obese than in non-obese subjects (p<0.001), but not significantly different after adjustment for fat-free mass (FFM). In the whole body calorimeters, with the same activity program, % V.O2max corresponding to sleep and sedentary activities were lower in obese than in non-obese girls (-15.1% and -12.3%, p<0.05), but not significantly different between obese and non-obese boys. However, walking at 4-5-6 km/h corresponded to 47-59% and 71% of V.O2max, respectively, in obese, and 34-41% and 48% of V.O2max in non-obese subjects (p<0.001). In free-living conditions, moderate physical activities and sports corresponded to 52% vs 35%, and 39% vs 51% of V.O2max, respectively, in obese and non-obese adolescents.
Conclusion. In standardised conditions %V.O2max did not correspond to the same type of physical activity in obese compared to non-obese adolescents. Consequently, % V.O2max is inadequate for comparing the types of physical activities of obese and non-obese adolescents in free-living conditions.

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