Physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness – a ten year follow-up.

Bahls M; Ittermann T; Ewert R; Stubbe B; Völzke H; Friedrich N; Felix SB; Dörr M;

Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports [Scand J Med Sci Sports] 2020 Nov 18. Date of Electronic Publication: 2020 Nov 18.

Physical activity (PA) may influence cardio-respiratory fitness (CRF). Yet, PA takes place in different domains (i.e. sports related physical activity [SPA], leisure time related physical activity [LTPA] and work-related physical activity [WPA]) and not all domain-specific PA may help to maintain high CRF levels throughout life. We assessed the relationship between changes in domain specific PA and the age-related decline in CRF. We analyzed data of 353 men (median age 50 years; inter-quartile range [IQR] 40 to 60) and 335 women (median age 50 years; IQR 41 to 59) with data for domain-specific PA as well as CRF testing measured ten years apart. CRF was assessed with cardiorespiratory exercise testing. Domain specific PA was measured using the Baecke questionnaire. During the 10 year follow-up CRF decreased in men from 29.3 (IQR 25.0 to 34.7) ml/min/kg to 24.3 (IQR 20.8 to 27.3) ml/min/kg. In women CRF declined from 26.0 (IQR 21.0 to 30.9) to 21.4 (IQR 18.3 to 25.6) ml/min/kg. A one point higher SPA at baseline was related to a 1.14 (95% confidence interval [CI] -1.50 to -0.53) ml/min/kg greater decrease in VO 2peak . A one point greater SPA and LTPA over time was associated with a 1.68 (95% CI 1.06 to 2.29) ml/min/kg and 1.24 (95% CI 0.57 to 1.90) ml/min/kg lower decrease in VO 2peak , respectively. Neither baseline values nor changes of WPA were associated with CRF. Sports and leisure time related PA may attenuate the age related decline in CRF.