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Correlation of percentage body fat with physical efficiency index and maximal oxygen uptake

Mohammad Shoebuddin, Sayed Badar Daimi.

Background: Various submaximal exercises such as Harvard step test (HST) is fairly accurate and reliable method for calculating Physical Fitness Index (PFI) and VO2 max. The PFI score can then be used to categorize the fitness level of the subject as excellent, good, average, and poor. Using recovery pulse count of HST, VO2 max can be calculated by mathematical equation.  

Aims and Objectives: Our aim and objective were to conduct HST to calculate PFI and VO2 max values from recovery pulse counts after grouping the test subjects as obese and non-obese depending on percentage of body fat.

Materials and Methods: Ethical clearance was taken before the study and subjects were explained the procedure in detail. 20 non-obese and 20 obese subjects in the age group of 1825 years were enrolled for the study. A 20-inch stepping platform, metronome, chair, stopwatch, wall mounted stature scope for height, and a weighing scale were used in the study. Anthropometric measurements such as height and weight were recorded. Skinfold thickness of the chest, thigh, and abdomen was measured using skinfold calipers.

Results: On comparison of the PFI scores between two groups, the value of Chi-square was found to be 28.78 with DF=3 and P < 0.0001 which is extremely significant. On comparing the VO2 max values of non-obese and obese group, the value of Chi-square was found to be 30.649, with DF= 5 and P < 0.0001 which is extremely significant.

Conclusion: The PFI scores were found to be much better in subjects who had less body fat percentage as compared to subjects who had body fat percentage >25%.

Key words: Physical Fitness Index; Harvard step test

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