Humans along with many animals require blood flowing in the body to stay alive. The system that regulates blood flow throughout the body is called cardiovascular system. This system is responsible for the transfer of many important nutrients, oxygen, and minerals all over the body.
The goal of this assignment is to familiarize with the estimations of the cardiovascular system. For this purpose we will compare and contrast two different methods of cardiovascular assessment, one is through websites and the second through field testing. After the find the results we will check which one is more accurate and reliable, discuss their pros and cons, and any of them should be preferred over the other.
Every person needs some amount of oxygen to perform his tasks or to do exercise. The maximum amount of oxygen that a person inhales, during exercise is called VO2max. This amount is measured in millimeters of consumed oxygen in one minute per kilogram of the person’s weight. VO2max is an aerobic measure of fitness. The value of VO2max is important for every person, irrespective of whether he regularly exercises or not. The average range of VO2max in a fit person is between 30 to 60 millimeters per minute per kilogram. As it is a measure of the amount of oxygen inhaled by the person, a higher number is better because it means your body can consume and deliver oxygen better to your body and muscles. A high oxygen consumption means your blood will have sufficient supply of oxygenated blood which will help you work and exercise better and is a sign of good health. High VO2max determines the athletic endurance of the person, but it is also affected by certain factors like age, gender, and body weight.
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VO2max can be calculated by two methods, first is the estimate which can be done by formulas, which an estimate of person’s average oxygen consumption while the other is the field test which tests the person by actual monitoring. Further, we will discuss both measurement methods and test which one is more accurate and why.
The first test is conducted by the use of two online calculators that estimate VO2max. The first test is conducted on a 26-year-old American boy (183 centimeters height and weighing 73 kilograms) who does 20 minute light exercise once a week. The maximum estimated heart rate was found to be 196. The test estimated the VO2max level of 56 ml/min/kg.
Figure 1. The Fitness Calculator (worldfitnesslevel.org)
The second test that measured VO2max based on the maximum heart rate (HRmax) and resting heart rate (HRrest) found the number to be 49.5 ml/min/kg. Below is the result screenshot
Figure 2. VO2max (brianmac.co.uk)
Figure 3. VO2max (brianmac.co.uk)
Next, we performed a field test on the person. In this test, the person walked for 1 mile after a 10 min warm up. After he finished the lap in 13 minutes 20 seconds, the heart rate was found to be 90 bpm. The VO2max found after walking field test was 63.79 ml/min/kg. Here is the result screenshot:
Figure 4. VO2max (brianmac.co.uk)
After this test the running field test and measure how far the subject can run in 12 minutes. The person ran for 2.995 Km. After plugging the data into the calculator, we found these results:
Figure 5. VO2max (brianmac.co.uk)
The results obtained from the first online test were found to be nearly same to those obtained from a field test. However, the second online test differs a lot from the field test, and its results were decidedly less from the VO2max level we calculated form field test. The cardiovascular assessment of the subject was found to be excellent in the field test.
In practice as a physician, these calculations and field tests can be used to measure the cardiovascular fitness of a person. A person who has high VO2max level is considered to be healthy while for those who have a less VO2max level they are the ones who should do something about it. For the people who have a low VO2max level, they should be recommended to do more exercise (especially running) and maintain their diet plan. The patients having a low VO2max level should be informed of the risks involved and how it is harmful to their health.
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The cardiovascular fitness links to the person’s blood pressure and risk of heart attack. For the people who have low cardiovascular health, they are more prone to heart attack, blood pressure fluctuations and increased the chance of diabetes. This health also determines how much the person is resistant to illness and tiredness and determines the overall efficiency of person’s aerobic ability. The cardiovascular health is increased by exercise. For the people who exercise more and keep themselves active have good cardiovascular health, are more productive in their work efficiency and have more immunity to illness. Cardiovascular health should be carefully monitored and improved at any age in life, and the people who have poor health should try to improve their health. Some factors that relate to poor cardiovascular health are less exercise, obesity, less stamina and weak muscles. All these factors can be improved if the person devotes himself to the improvement of his health.
There is need to modify our lifestyle to maintain our health and fitness. The factors that increase the risk for heart diseases should be reduced. Knowing these risks and what factors cause them is necessary to prevent complications in later age. As physicians, it should be our responsibility to guide the people about the importance of cardiovascular health to reduce the number of complications of heart diseases in our society and other adverse effects that low cardiovascular health has on people.
AS, E. (2018). World Fitness Level. Worldfitnesslevel.org. Retrieved 14 February 2018, from https://www.worldfitnesslevel.org/#/
Mackenzie, B. (2018). Rockport Fitness Walking Test. Brianmac.co.uk. Retrieved 14 February 2018, from https://www.brianmac.co.uk/rockport.htm
Myers, J., Kaminsky, L. A., Lima, R., Christle, J. W., Ashley, E., & Arena, R. (2017). A reference equation for normal standards for VO2 max: analysis from the Fitness Registry and the Importance of Exercise National Database (FRIEND registry). Progress in cardiovascular diseases, 60(1), 21-29.
Myers, J., McAuley, P., Lavie, C. J., Despres, J. P., Arena, R., & Kokkinos, P. (2015). Physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness as major markers of cardiovascular risk: their independent and interwoven importance to health status. Progress in cardiovascular diseases, 57(4), 306-314.