Photographed By Aaron Richter.
How do you really quantify your fitness age? You may be 25, but do you have the fitness level of a 20-year-old marathoner or a sedentary 50-year-old? Traditionally, fitness age has centered on the body's ability to utilize oxygen, with the best measures coming from individuals hooking up to a respiration mask and hitting the treadmill. Scientists would then measure how efficiently the body is utilizing available oxygen.
But, now, after researchers studied over 5,000 Norwegians, there is a better way to approximate our fitness age, simply by taking an online test. The New York Times reports that researchers "took about a dozen measurements, including height, body mass index, resting heart rate, HDL, and total cholesterol levels." Each participant also ran on the treadmill until they were exhausted and their peak oxygen intake (VO2 max) was measured.
The results? The scientists had so much data that they found a complex and highly accurate way of predicting a person's VO2 max and fitness age without a person actually needing to run on a treadmill to the point of exhaustion. And we're pretty psyched about that.