, Volume 191, Issue 5, pp 449–458 | Cite as

Age Dependency of Oxygen Uptake and Related Parameters in Exercise Testing: An Expert Opinion on Reference Values Suitable for Adults

  • Joachim SchneiderEmail author



Spiroergometry has been established to determine physical capacity. Reference values collected mostly in a younger population can be obtained from a number of studies and therefore may differ. Regression equations are complex and cannot be transferred easily to clinical practice. Our aim was to obtain reference values for spiroergometric parameters in cardiopulmonary exercise in healthy adult populations.


Eighteen studies of healthy adults (>40 years) that assessed maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), oxygen uptake in relation to body weight (VO2max/kg), and oxygen pulse (VO2max/heart rate) were included. After data processing, spiroergometric parameters were correlated to age. Regression analysis was performed separately for each study and also weighted with the number of participants.


For all spiroergometric parameters, age dependency was detectable for both males and females. After performing regression analysis, the following linear regression equations were determined: VO2max: Males = −28 × age (years) + 4,000; females = −20 × age (years) + 2,700 (ml/min); VO2max/kg: Males = −0.42 × age (years) + 58; females = −0.35 × age (years) + 46 (ml/min/kg); VO2max/heart rate: Males = −0.10 × age (years) + 20.50; females = −0.05 × age (years) + 13 (ml/min/heart rate).


The present study provides practicable reference values for the spiroergometric parameters of adult men and women.


Age Spiroergometric Parameters Reference values Adults Cardiopulmonary exercise testing 


Conflict of interest

The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut und Poliklinik für Arbeits- und Sozialmedizin am Universitätsklinikum GiessenGiessenGermany

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