VO2 Max

Definition - What does VO2 Max mean?

VO2 max is the maximum rate with which the body consumes oxygen during physical activity. The name originates from volume (V), oxygen (O2) and maximum (max). A person's endurance potential and physical fitness are established with this metric. It is for this reason that VO2 max is an important indicator in pre-employment testing where the physical capacity of a person is a determinant of their suitability for a particular job. VO2 max is either measured in liters per minute or milliliters per kilogram per minute. VO2 max is also known as maximal oxygen consumption, maximal oxygen uptake, peak oxygen uptake, and maximal aerobic capacity.

WorkplaceTesting explains VO2 Max

A normal VO2 max rate lies in the range 30 to 60 ml O2 per kg, per minute. Where a job is physically demanding and requires a particular level of fitness, the VO2 max of a candidate is measured against the requirements of the job to ascertain whether the candidate is suitable. The reason for this is that when the body reaches its VO2 max, it has to resort to burning sugar stored in the muscles and the liver which tires the body out quicker. A high VO2 max rate is largely contributed to genetic makeup and physical exercise. Specifically, it is a product of speed, a strong and healthy heart, high blood volume, high mitochondrial and capillary density.

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