Cardiorespiratory fitness in adolescents before and after the COVID-19 confinement: a prospective cohort study

López-Bueno, Rubén, Calatayud, Joaquín, Andersen, Lars L., Casaña, José, Ezzatvar, Yasmin, Casajús, José A., López-Sánchez, Guillermo F. and Smith, Lee (2021) Cardiorespiratory fitness in adolescents before and after the COVID-19 confinement: a prospective cohort study. European Journal of Pediatrics, 180. pp. 2287-2293. ISSN 1432-1076

Accepted Version
Available under the following license: Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (382kB) | Preview
Official URL:


Long periods of free-movement restrictions may negatively affect cardiorespiratory fitness and health. The present study investigated changes after the COVID-19 confinement in maximal oxygen intake (VO2 max) levels in a sample of 89 Spanish school children aged 12 and 14 years at baseline (49.8% girls). The 20-m shuttle run test served to estimate VO2 max before and after the COVID-19 confinement. Paired t-tests estimated an overall difference of − 0.5−1.min−1 (SD 0.3) (p = 0.12), whereas the highest significant reductions were observed for girls aged 14 years (− 1.5−1.min−1 (SD 0.6) (p < 0.05)). Boys aged 14 years showed a slight increase (0.4−1.min−1 (SD 0.5) (p = 0.44)), whereas boys aged 12 years presented an important decrease (− 1.2−1.min−1 (SD 0.7) (p = 0.14)). Healthy Fitness Zone (HFZ) levels also experienced a decrease of − 3.4% as regards baseline levels over the examined period. All the examined subgroups showed lower levels in relation to a normal VO2 max rate development, although girls aged 14 and boys aged 12 years accounted for the highest part. Conclusion: The results indicate that COVID-19 confinement might delay the normal development of VO2 max in adolescents. Strategies to tackle this concerning decline are warranted.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: COVID-19, Physical Fitness, Children, Lockdown, Maximal oxygen peak, Growth
Faculty: COVID-19 Research Collection
Faculty of Science & Engineering
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic User
Depositing User: Symplectic User
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2021 12:03
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2022 02:02

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item