How fit am I compared to the population

OwnIndex is is an evaluation of maximal oxygen uptake, VO2max, in ml min-1kg-1. In the following, classification of VO2max values is presented in men and women of the age 20-65 years representing the age groups with whom the Polar Fitness Test has been developed. The classification is based on a study by Shvartz & Reibold (1990). Laboratory measured VO2max values have been collected from adults in USA, Canada and 7 European countries.

MEN: Maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max, ml min-1kg-1)

WOMEN: Maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max, ml min-1kg-1)

In a population:

  • 11 % of the people belong to classes 1-2 and 6-7
  • 22 % in classes 3 and 5
  • 34 % in class 4

This corresponds to normal distribution, “Gaussian distribution”, because the classification has been developed in representative samples of individuals from different countries. Top athletes in endurance sports typically score VO2max values (ml min-1kg-1) above 70 (men) and 60 (women). Regular exercisers participating occasionally in competition events score 60-70 (men) and 50-60 (women). Individuals exercising regularly, but not in competitive level, have values between 40-60 (men) and 30-50 (women) and sedentary adults most probably below 40 (men) and 30 (women).

Fitness class is a useful reference when interpreting the individual fitness test results. Because cardiovascular health is related to aerobic fitness:

  • The people in classes 1-3 would most probably obtain many heath benefits and improve their fitness by starting regular exercise.
  • Those in class 4 should at least maintain their exercise habits to ensure better health. However, increase in exercise is recommended for fitness improvement.
  • The people in classes 5-7 most probably already have good health, and their exercise increase targets to improve their performance.

Shvartz, Reibold. Aerobic fitness norms for males and females aged 6 to 75 years: a review. Aviat Space Environ Med 61, 3-11, 1990.

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