Modeling the dose–response rate/associations between VO 2max and self-reported Physical Activity Questionnaire in children and adolescents

Alan Nevill, Michael Duncan, Gavin Sandercock

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    15 Citations (Scopus)
    43 Downloads (Pure)


    Background: This study sought to explore the dose–response rate/association between aerobic fitness (VO 2max) and self-reported physical activity (PA) and to assess whether this association varies by sex, age and weight status. Methods: VO 2max was assessed using the 20-m shuttle-run test. PA was assessed using the Physical Activity Questionnaire (PAQ) for Adolescents (aged >11 years, PAQ-A) or for Children (aged ≤11 years, PAQ-C). The associations between VO 2max and PAQ were analyzed using analysis of covariance (ANCOVA), adopting PAQ and PAQ 2 as covariates but allowing the intercepts and slope parameters of PAQ and PAQ 2 to vary with the categorical variables sex, age group, and weight status. Results: ANCOVA identified a curvilinear association between VO 2max and PAQ, with positive linear PAQ terms that varied for both sex and weight status but with a negative PAQ 2 term of -0.39 (95% confidence interval (CI): –0.57 to –0.21) that was common for all groups in regard to age, sex, and weight status. These curvilinear (inverted U) associations suggest that the benefits of increasing PA (same dose) on VO 2max is greater when children report lower levels of PA compared to children who report higher levels of PA. These dose–response rates were also steeper for boys and were steeper for lean children compared to overweight/obese children. Conclusion: Health practitioners should be aware that encouraging greater PA (same dose) in inactive and underweight children will result in greater gains in VO 2max (response) compared with their active and overweight/obese counterparts.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)90-95
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Sport and Health Science
    Issue number1
    Early online date9 May 2019
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

    Bibliographical note

    This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license. (


    • Aerobic fitness
    • ANCOVA
    • curvilinear association
    • slope parameters
    • weight status
    • age
    • sex
    • Slope parameters
    • Sex
    • Weight status
    • Curvilinear association

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
    • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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