Cardiorespiratory Fitness in Youth: An Important Marker of Health: A Scientific Statement from the American Heart Association

Geetha Raghuveer, Jacob Hartz, David R. Lubans, Timothy Takken, Jennifer L. Wiltz, Michele Mietus-Snyder, Amanda M. Perak, Carissa Baker-Smith, Nicholas Pietris, Nicholas M. Edwards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) refers to the capacity of the circulatory and respiratory systems to supply oxygen to skeletal muscle mitochondria for energy production needed during physical activity. CRF is an important marker of physical and mental health and academic achievement in youth. However, only 40% of US youth are currently believed to have healthy CRF. In this statement, we review the physiological principles that determine CRF, the tools that are available to assess CRF, the modifiable and nonmodifiable factors influencing CRF, the association of CRF with markers of health in otherwise healthy youth, and the temporal trends in CRF both in the United States and internationally. Development of a cost-effective CRF measurement process that could readily be incorporated into office visits and in field settings to screen all youth periodically could help identify those at increased risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E101-E118
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • AHA Scientific Statements
  • cardiorespiratory fitness
  • cardiovascular diseases
  • cognition
  • exercise
  • mental health
  • physical activity

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review


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