Global Fitness Levels: Findings From a Web-Based Surveillance Report

Javaid Nauman, Lucas C. Tauschek, Leonard A. Kaminsky, Bjarne M. Nes, Ulrik Wisløff

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Importance Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) has shown to improve the classification beyond traditional risk factors and cumulative lifetime risk of death, however, there is no formal multicenter database that provides representative sample on a global scale to accurately interpret CRF measures. Objective The objective of the study was to describe worldwide web-surveillance data of CRF. Design Cross-sectional population based study. Setting Data was collected through a web-based questionnaire, including questions on country and city of residence, ethnicity, level of education, age, gender and anthropometric data such as height, weight, waistline, and maximal and resting pulse rate, on a freely available webpage ( We used a previously validated non-exercise algorithm to estimate CRF (eCRF). Participants Population based volunteer sample of 730,432 healthy participants, predominantly white race (82.1%), and 50.8% women. Main outcome and measures Mean estimated cardiorespiratory fitness across regions and countries worldwide. Results The mean eCRF values were 50.4−1.min−1 (95% confidence interval [CI], 50.3–50.4) for men, and 40.6−1.min−1 (95% CI, 40.6–40.7) for women, and with advancing age, eCRF values decreased in all regions and countries with a substantial heterogeneity across the regions. On average, men and women spent 7.2 h/day, and 6.8 h/day being sedentary, and mean eCRF values were higher among those who were meeting the current recommendations of physical activity, regardless of time spent sedentary. Conclusion and relevance The global eCRF surveillance data will help to identify target populations at greater risk, to understand which intervention strategies work for which populations, and to better inform health professionals and policy makers to devise strategies to improve physical activity, CRF, and public health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-88
Number of pages11
JournalProgress in Cardiovascular Diseases
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiorespiratory fitness
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Fitness
  • Physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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