Appropriate scaling approach for evaluating peak VO₂ development in Southern Chinese 8 to 16 years old

Chung Wah Clare YU, Ali M. MCMANUS, Chun T. AU, Hung K. SO, Adrienne CHAN, Rita Y. T. SUNG, Albert M. LI

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Objective: To investigate scaling approaches for evaluating the development of peak VO₂ and improving the identification of low cardiopulmonary fitness in Southern Chinese children and adolescents.
Methods: Nine hundred and twenty Chinese children and adolescents (8 to 16 years) underwent graded cardiopulmonary exercise test on a treadmill until volitional exhaustion. Peak VO₂ was corrected for the effects of body mass by ratio or allometric scaling. Z score equations for predicting peak VO₂ were developed. Correlations between scaled peak VO₂, z scores, body size and age were tested to examine the effectiveness of the approach.
Results: Eight hundred and fifty-two participants (48% male) were included in the analyses. Absolute peak VO₂ significantly increased with age in both sexes (both P<0.05), while ratio-scaled peak VO₂ increased only in males (P<0.05). Allometrically scaled peak VO₂ increased from 11 years in both sexes, plateauing by 12 years in girls and continuing to rise until 15 years in boys. Allometically scaled peak VO₂ was not correlated with body mass, but remained correlated with height and age in all but the older girls. Peak VO₂ z score was not correlated with body mass, height or age.
Conclusions: Absolute and allometric scaled peak VO₂ values are provided for Hong Kong Chinese children and adolescents by age and sex. Peak VO₂ z scores improve the evaluation of cardiopulmonary fitness, allowing comparisons across ages and sex and will likely provide a better metric for tracking change over time in children and adolescents, regardless of body size and age. Copyright © 2019 Yu et al.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0213674
JournalPLoS One
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019



Yu, C. C. W., McManus, A. M., Au, C. T., So, H. K., Chan, A., Sung, R. Y. T., & Li, A. M. (2019). Appropriate scaling approach for evaluating peak VO₂ development in Southern Chinese 8 to 16 years old. PLoS One, 14(3). Retrieved from