How well does your body really function relative to your actual age? Researchers have figured out a way you can find out — without having to go through extensive physical stress tests. In fact, all you need to do is plug in your numbers into their calculator.
Photo by Twin Design.
To create the fitness age calculator, the scientists from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology conducted an extensive test measuring 5000 Norwegian volunteers between the ages of 20 and 90. They measured height, body mass index, cholesterol levels and the like, and made each volunteer run to the point of exhaustion on a treadmill to measure the volunteers' peak oxygen intake (VO2 max). The VO2 max, or how well the body delivers oxygen to your cells, has been closely associated with longer lifespans, and thus might indicate fitness age.
In the end, it turns out just five measurements — your age, gender, waist circumference, resting heart rate and exercise habits — can accurately predict a person's VO2 max. And that number may be more important than your real age. A 70-year-old person could have the fitness of a 20-year old (and, unfortunately, it works in the reverse too).
Head to the calculator below to find out your fitness age. If it's not to your liking, the researchers have developed a seven-week fitness program with 20-minute workouts to help you get back into shape.