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

López-Bueno, Rubén and Calatayud, Joaquín and Andersen, Lars L. and Casaña, José and Ezzatvar, Yasmin and Casajús, José A. and 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. ISSN 1432-1076

[img] Text
Accepted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only until 17 March 2022.
Available under the following license: Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (382kB)
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: 14 Apr 2021 15:24

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item