It’s not news that longevity is tied in part of how fit we are. What is new is a study from researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology which examined data from more than 55,000 Norwegian adults who had completed extensive health questionnaires beginning in the 1980s. The scientists used the volunteers’ answers to estimate each person’s VO2max and “fitness age.”
According to the study’s authors, the results suggest that fitness age may predict a person’s risk of early death better than some traditional risk factors like being overweight, having high cholesterol levels or blood pressure, and smoking. There’s also a link directly to a short test to find your own fitness age, with exercise suggestions.
Thankfully, fitness age can be altered, said Ulrik Wisloff, professor at the K.G. Jebsen Center for Exercise in Medicine at The Norwegian University of Science and Technology, who led the study. His advice if your fitness age exceeds your chronological years or is not as low as you would like? “Just exercise.”