Mature Man Jogging

What’s your fitness age? The university in Norway that introduced their fitness age calculator gave it an update this week after some new research.

The concept is one that measures your health and well being based on cardiovascular fitness and your VO2 max. Essentially, if you have a higher VO2 max than the average for your age, you have a lower fitness age and vice versa.

Fitness age is a subject that’s been looked at in recent years with mixed results from studies, some not showing it to have any use beyond pumping (or deflating) your own ego, but the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, one of the global leaders in looking at fitness age, recently published a new study that found an inverse relationship between fitness age and mortality rates.

It seems unsurprising, but the study found those who were not in shape had a much higher mortality rate than those who were in shape. What was of note is that, up until about the age of 60, cardiorespiratory fitness seems to be one of the best predictors of mortality. More than some of the traditional indicators of poor health such as obesity or smoking.

Still, the purpose of the study was not to learn if being active is good for your health — that’s already pretty well understood — but was used to see if a health questionnaire could be used to predict mortality in a way similar to real VO2 max and other expensive testing can. The research used over 37,000 extensive health and fitness questionnaires of Norwegians from a previous study to estimate cardiovascular fitness during the mid-1980s.

The researchers think they found a pretty accurate  set of questions, which has led to an update this week of the university’s Fitness age calculator. The questions all only take a few minutes.

So, what’s your fitness age?

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