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Group of Study and Research in Physical Activity and Exercise, Londrina State University, Londrina, Brazil; and
Metabolism, Nutrition, and Exercise Laboratory, Londrina State University, Londrina, Brazil; 3Faculty of Physical
Education, State University of Campinas, Campinas, Brazil; 4Department of Sport Science, Physical Education and Sport
Center, Londrina State University, Londrina, Brazil; and 5Faculty of Sport Science and Physical Education, University of
Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal

ABSTRACT predictive measure of V_ O2peak from the 20-m shuttle run test
Batista, MB, Cyrino, ES, Arruda, M, Dourado, AC, Coelho- in adolescents aged 11–13 years.
E-Silva, MJ, Ohara, D, Romanzini, M, and Ronque, ERV. Validity KEY WORDS cardiorespiratory fitness, field test, Bland-Altman,
of equations for estimating V_ O2peak from the 20-m shuttle run youth
test in adolescents aged 11–13 years. J Strength Cond Res
27(10): 2774–2781, 2013—The aim of this study was to ana-

lyze the validity of 4 regression equations to estimate the peak
oxygen consumption (V_ O2peak) from the 20-m shuttle run test he assessment of the cardiorespiratory fitness
in adolescents aged 11–13 years. One hundred and fifteen (CRF) has been considered as an important factor
adolescents, 61 boys (mean 6 SD: age = 12.3 6 0.9 years) in aspects related to public health because high
levels of CRF can reduce the risk of morbidity
and 54 girls (age = 12.1 6 0.7 years) performed the 20-m
and mortality from all causes and from cardiovascular dis-
shuttle run test and an incremental progressive maximal test for
eases in the adult population (6,7,16). In children and ado-
direct V_ O2peak analysis. Four linear regression equations were
lescents, high levels of CRF tend to decrease the risk factors
used to estimate the V_ O2peak: Barnett et al. (equation 1), Léger for cardiovascular diseases, such as obesity, high blood pres-
et al. (equation 2), Mahar et al. (equation 3), and Matsuzaka sure, dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, among others (2,13,25).
et al. (equation 4). For boys, only the V_ O2peak estimated by In relation to the assessment of the CRF, peak oxygen
EQ3 did not differ from the value directly measured (p . 0.05). consumption (V _ O2peak) has been used as one of the best
The EQ1, EQ2, and EQ4 underestimated the V_ O2peak, indexes for measuring aerobic power in youth (3,4). Thus,
whereas the EQ3 overestimated, particularly in girls (p , different field tests have been developed to estimate V_ O2peak
0.05). Large limits of agreement were found between the ref- in children and adolescents from the walking, running,
erence method and the 4 equations, with higher estimated cycling, or swimming protocols, with predetermined time or
values by EQ2 for boys (8.36 6 15.24 mL$kg21$min21) and distance, continuous or intermittent, and others with fixed dis-
tances and progressive increase in speed at every stage (9,10).
girls (2.45 6 12.63 mL$kg21$min21). The highest correlation
Among the field tests for the V_ O2peak prediction in youth,
values were observed by EQ4 for boys (r = 0.80), EQ1 for girls
the 20-m shuttle run test (17) has been the most widely used
(r = 0.72), and EQ3 for total sample (r = 0.80). The equations
and recommended to assess the health-related physical fit-
analyzed were not precise for individual V_ O2peak prediction; ness in youth (11,12,31). The 20-m shuttle run test has been
however, the EQ3 revealed better agreement, particularly for often used because it presents some advantages such as low
boys. Considering the data obtained in the boys and total sam- cost, wide applicability, and can be administered in a relatively
ple, our results suggest that the EQ3 may provide the best small space either indoors or outdoors for several subjects
simultaneously (22,30). Moreover, the daily activities of chil-
Address correspondence to Mariana B. Batista, mbiagibatista@yahoo. dren and adolescents have a strong intermittent feature; therefore, the 20-m shuttle run test may be a more specific
27(10)/2774–2781 test than continuous directional run protocols (18,22).
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research Besides the increased use of the 20-m shuttle run test as an
Ó 2013 National Strength and Conditioning Association indicator of V_ O2peak in youth, there has been great interest
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from the scientific community in the development and val- conducted in the laboratory for the determination of V _ O2peak
idation of equations to predict V_ O2peak, including their as reference value (dependent variable). All visits to perform
regression model variables, such as sex, age, speed achieved the motor tests were performed at intervals of 48 hours, and
in the last stage, and number of laps in the test, body mass, the subjects were submitted to 2 protocols according to the
skinfold thickness, body mass index (BMI), among others. order described. The subjects were instructed to take a light
The results of these studies have indicated correlation values meal 2 hours before the experiments, avoid physical exercise
between V_ O2peak obtained by the reference method and the for a minimum of 24 hours before the each testing session, and
estimate given by equation ranging from r = 0.65 to r = 0.87 maintain similar sleeping hours and daily activities.
and determination coefficient from R2 = 0.68 to R2 = 0.85 Before the collection of definitive data, a group of
(5,17,19–21,29). adolescents with the same characteristics of the study sample
However, it is unclear which are the most appropriate was randomly selected to make the pilot study. This group
equations for the V_ O2peak prediction in children and ado- was submitted to 2 successive sets of measures to check the
lescents. Melo et al. (22) investigated 7 equations for estimat- evaluators’ reproducibility, to check data collection operation-
ing V_ O2peak in children aged 8–10 years and concluded that alization, and to verify the equipment calibration. The group
the equations proposed by Fernhall et al. (14) and Matsuzaka consisted of 63 adolescents, 31 boys (age = 12.2 years, body
et al. (20) showed better agreement with reference values but weight = 40.6 kg, height = 148.0 cm) and 32 girls (age = 11.7
with low performance for estimating V_ O2peak individually. years, body weight = 45.0 kg, height = 151.0 cm), who were
Additionally, Ruiz et al. (30) investigated 5 different equa- submitted to repeated measurements of anthropometric var-
tions for V_ O2peak prediction from the 20-m shuttle run test iables and 20-m shuttle run test.
in adolescents aged 13–19 years of both sexes and found that
the equations proposed by Barnett et al. (5) and Ruiz et al.
The study included 115 adolescents, 61 boys (12.3 6 0.9 years)
(29) seem to provide the best V_ O2peak predictions.
and 54 girls (12.1 6 0.7 years) enrolled in an educational
Thus, the aim of this study was to analyze the validity of 4
institution in Londrina, Paraná, Brazil. Data collection was
regression equations available in the literature to estimate the
undertaken during the academic year 2009. A comprehensive
V_ O2peak from the 20-m shuttle run test in adolescents aged
verbal description of the nature and purpose of the study, and
11–13 years. A better comprehension of validity of these equa-
also the clinical implications of the investigation, was provided
tions in adolescents can contribute to epidemiological studies
to the participants, their parents, and teachers. This informa-
and help health and fitness professionals in monitoring
tion was also sent to parents or participants’ tutors. The fol-
V_ O2peak adaptations during interventions periods in both
lowing inclusion criteria were adopted to be within the group
inside and outside the school environment. Our hypothesis
and be regularly enrolled in the public school selected and as
is that at least one of the regression equations chosen for this
exclusion criteria to have physical problem that temporarily or
study may provide a valid measure of V_ O2peak in adolescents.
permanently prevents the individual from being submitted to
METHODS the motor tests and not signing the informed consent term.
This study was approved by the local ethical committees, and
Experimental Approach to the Problem
all participants gave verbal informed consent. Written
At baseline, after a previous contact with the school board and
informed consent was obtained from the adolescent’s parent
knowing that the institution had approximately 250 students
or legal guardian. All procedures were in accordance with
enrolled in the fifth and sixth grades of elementary school,
those outlined by the Declaration of Helsinki.
being within the age group from 11 to 13 years, all adolescents
were invited to participate in the study. On the first visit to the Anthropometry
school, the project proposal was presented and also assess- Body mass was measured to the nearest 0.1 kg using
ments and procedures that would be involved. On the second a calibrated electronic scale (model PS 180A; Urano, Porto
visit to the school, 115 partici-
pants were submitted the anthro-
pometric measurements in
a room provided by the school. TABLE 1. Physical characteristics of the sample according to sex (n = 115).*
After this period, the 20-m shuttle
Variables Boys (n = 61) Girls (n = 54) Total (n = 115)
run test was conducted in the
school gymnasium, and 4 linear Age (y) 12.3 6 0.9 12.1 6 0.7 12.2 6 0.8
regression equations were used to Body mass (kg) 47.5 6 13.6 45.1 6 13.2 46.3 6 13.4
estimate the V _ O2peak (indepen- Height (cm) 150.9 6 7.7 150.4 6 7.3 150.7 6 7.5
dent variables): Barnett et al. (5), BMI (kg$m22) 20.7 6 4.7 19.7 6 4.3 20.2 6 4.5
Léger et al. (17), Mahar et al. (19), *Values are expressed as mean 6 SD. No significant intergroups difference (p . 0.05).
and Matsuzaka et al. (20). Finally,
a progressive treadmill test was

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Validity of Equations for the 20-m Shuttle Run Test in Adolescents

Alegre, Brazil), with the subjects wearing light workout female), BM = body mass, S = speed in kilometers
clothing and no shoes. Height was measured using a wooden per hour at the end of the test.
stadiometer to the nearest 0.1 cm while subjects were standing b) Léger et al. (17): V_ O2peak = 31.025 + 3.238 (S) 2 3.248
without shoes. Body mass index (BMI) was calculated as the (A) + 0.1536 (A 3 S), where S = speed in kilometers
body mass in kilograms divided by the square of the height in per hour at the end of the test, A = age in years.
meters. The anthropometric measurements were obtained c) Mahar et al. (19): V_ O2peak = 47.438 + (no LAPS 3
during the afternoon by the same evaluator using standardized 0.142) + (G 3 5.134) 2 (BM 3 0.197), where no
procedures described by Gordon et al. (15). The technical er- LAPS = numbers of laps in the SR-20m test, G =
rors of measurement (TEMs) were less than 1% (body mass = gender (1 = male and 0 = female), BM = body mass.
0.36 kg and stature = 0.57 cm), and intraclass correlation co- d) Matzusaka et al. (20): V_ O2peak = 25.9 2 2.21 (G) 2
efficients (ICCs) were 0.99 for both measurements. 0.449 (A) 2 0.831 (BMI) + 4.12 (S), where G = gender
(0 = male and 1 = female), A = age in years, BMI =
Field Test and Estimation of V_ O2peak body mass index, S = speed in kilometers per hour at
The 20-m shuttle run test was conducted as described by the end of the test.
Léger et al. (17) on an indoor court with slip resistant floor in
a 20-m space bounded by 2 parallel lines. Participants were Direct Measurement of V_ O2peak
instructed to run in a straight line, to pivot, and turn on Direct analysis of V_ O2peak was conducted in laboratory
completing a shuttle and to pace themselves in accordance through open circuit spirometry, with the performance of
with the audio signals. The initial speed was set at 8.5 a progressive and maximum test in treadmill ergometer.
km$h21 (2.4 m$s21), which was increased by 0.5 km$h21 The test began with warm-up exercises for 3 minutes at
(0.1 m$s21) each minute (1 minute equals 1 stage). The test a rate of 6 km$h21 and 0% slope, and then the slope
audio CD was calibrated for a duration of 1 minute. Subjects increased to 1% and the speed was increased by 1 km$h 21
were advised on proper pacing strategy and motivated to every minute, maintaining the same slope up to comple-
give their best effort. During the test, the subjects were tion of the test. The protocol adopted was tested in
encouraged and verbally communicated at each change of the previous pilot study in which adolescents with the
stage. The test ended when the participant stopped because same characteristics and age reached maximum effort in
of fatigue or when they failed to reach the end lines concur- a time interval between 8 and 12 minutes, which has been
rent with the audio signals on 2 consecutive occasions. The recommended to obtain aerobic power indicators in
participants were familiar with the test in their physical edu- youth (28).
cation classes. Furthermore, the subjects were instructed to To measure V_ O2 during the test, a portable gas analyzer
refrain from strenuous exercise in 48 hours before testing. All model K4 b2 (Cosmed, Rome, Italy) was used. Before each
tests were conducted by the same investigators. The absolute test was conducted, the oxygen and carbon dioxide ana-
and relative TEMs were 0.23 km$h21 and 2.3%, respectively; lyzers were calibrated according to the manufacturer’s in-
the ICC was 0.93 and coefficient of variation (CV) was 2.9%. structions. During each test, a gel seal was used to help
V_ O2peak was estimated in milliliters per kilometer prevent air leaks from the face mask. Respiratory parameters
per minute by 4 linear equations: were recorded breath-by-breath, which in turn were aver-
a) Barnett et al. (5): V_ O2peak = 25.8 2 6.6 (G) 2 0.2 (BM) aged over a 15-second period. The criteria adopted for the
+ 3.2 (S), where G = gender (0 = male and = 1 completion of the test were as follows: (a) subject’s voluntary
exhaustion, with the request to
finish the test; (b) reaching the
maximum heart rate predicted
TABLE 2. V_ O2peak values (ml$kg21$min21) measured from the reference method for age (220 2 age); (c) respi-
and estimated by 20-m shuttle run test from 4 linear equations (n = 115).
ratory exchange ratio exceed-
Variables Boys (n = 61) Girls (n = 54) Total (n = 115) ing 1.1; (d) detection of
a plateau in the V_ O2 curve,
Reference method 49.9 6 9.5 42.2 6 7.4 46.3 6 9.4 defined by an increase of less
Barnett et al. (5) 47.8 6 4.5*†z§ 40.3 6 3.8*z 44.3 6 5.6*†z§
Léger et al. (17) 41.6 6 4.2*kz§ 39.7 6 3.1*z 40.7 6 3.9*kz§ than 2 ml$kg21$min21 in the
Mahar et al. (19) 50.2 6 5.1k†§ 43.8 6 4.9*k†§ 47.2 6 5.6k†§ V_ O2 with change of stage in
Matsuzaka et al. (20) 43.7 6 6.3*k†z 40.7 6 5.0*z 42.3 6 5.9*k†z the test. Therefore, when the
subject showed $1 of these
*p , 0.05 vs. reference method.
†p , 0.05 vs. Léger et al. (17). characteristics, the test was fin-
zp , 0.05 vs. Mahar et al. (19). ished and then the highest V_ O2
§p , 0.05 vs. Matsuzaka et al. (20).
kp , 0.05 vs. Barnett et al. (5). value obtained was considered
as the V_ O2peak, represented in
relative form (ml$kg21$min21).
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TABLE 3. Performance criteria: intercept, slope, correlation coefficient (r), standard error of estimate (SEE), and
coefficient of variation (CV) between V_ O2 measured from the reference method and estimated by 20-m shuttle run
test from 4 linear equations (n = 115).*

Intercept Slope R (95% CI) SEE CV

Boys (n = 61)
Barnett et al. (5) 228.91† 1.65z 0.77 (0.67–0.86) 6.05 12.7
Léger et al. (17) 26.31 1.35z 0.60 (0.38–0.75) 7.70 18.5
Mahar et al. (19) 222.40† 1.44z 0.77 (0.65–0.86) 6.11 12.2
Matsuzaka et al. (20) 22.63 1.20z 0.80 (0.69–0.87) 5.81 13.3
Girls (n = 54)
Barnett et al. (5) 214.14 1.40z 0.72 (0.50–0.85) 5.17 12.8
Léger et al. (17) 23.57 1.15z 0.49 (0.24–0.68) 6.49 16.3
Mahar et al. (19) 213.99 1.28z 0.71 (0.49–0.85) 5.22 11.9
Matsuzaka et al. (20) 0.58 1.02z 0.69 (0.47–0.83) 5.39 13.3
Total (n = 115)
Barnett et al. (5) 212.29† 1.32† 0.79 (0.70–0.85) 5.81 13.1
Léger et al. (17) 212.85 1.45z 0.60 (0.46–0.71) 7.59 18.6
Mahar et al. (19) 216.34† 1.33z 0.80 (0.72–0.86) 5.69 12.1
Matsuzaka et al. (20) 25.81 1.23z 0.77 (0.69–0.84) 5.97 14.1
_ O2 estimated for each equation, for boys and girls ((SEE / V_ O2
*The CV refers to the effect of the respective SEEs on the mean V
estimated) 3 100). SEE = standard error of estimate; CV = coefficient of variation.
†Significantly different from 0, p , 0.05.
zSignificantly different from 1, p , 0.05.

Statistical Analyses tle run test (independent variable) was measured by the
The data were stored and analyzed using the Statistical Pearson’s linear correlation coefficient and also by simple
Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS for Windows Version linear regression analysis, indicating the following values:
17.0) and MedCalc (Version Normality was intercept, slope, coefficient of correlation (r), and standard
checked by Kolmogorov-Smirnov test. In the variables body error of estimate (SEE). In addition, the CV was determined
mass and body mass index, the data were transformed by dividing SEE by the average V_ O2peak estimated by field
logarithmically. Thus, data are presented in terms of means tests, multiplied by 100. To verify the agreement between
and SD. Student’s t-test for inde-
pendent samples was used for
comparisons between sexes.
Analysis of variance (ANOVA) TABLE 4. Agreement values (bias, limits, and trend) between V_ O2 measured from
for repeated measures was used the reference method and estimated by 20-m shuttle run test from 4 linear
for comparisons between equations (n = 115).
_VO2peak measured by the refer-
ence method and V_ O2peak esti-
mated by 4 different equations Bias Limits Trend
for the 20-m shuttle run test
Boys (n = 61)
according to sex. In variables Barnett et al. (5) 2.19* 15.3; 210.9 0.79†
that sphericity was violated as Léger et al. (17) 8.36* 23.6; 26.9 0.75†
indicated by Mauchly’s test, the Mahar et al. (19) 20.25 12.4; 212.9 0.72†
analyses were adjusted using Matsuzaka et al. (20) 6.22* 17.8; 25.4 0.57†
a Greenhouse-Geisser correc- Girls (n = 54)
Barnett et al. (5) 1.89* 12.4; 28.6 0.71†
tion. A post hoc Bonferroni’s test Léger et al. (17) 2.45* 15.1; 210.2 0.73†
was used to identify the differen- Mahar et al. (19) 21.60* 8.8; 212.0 0.66†
ces. The relationship between Matsuzaka et al. (20) 1.49* 12.0; 29.0 0.48†
V_ O2peak measured by the refer-
*Significantly different from 0, p , 0.05.
ence method (dependent vari- †p , 0.001.
able) and V_ O2peak estimated by
each equation for the 20-m shut-

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Validity of Equations for the 20-m Shuttle Run Test in Adolescents

Figure 1. Agreement between V_ O2 measured from the reference method and estimated by 20-m shuttle run test from 4 linear equations for 115 adolescents.
The solid line represents the mean differences between the reference method with the equations: (A) Leger et al. (17); (B) Barnett et al. (5); (C) Matsuzaka et al.
(20); and (D) Mahar et al. (19). The dashed lines represent 95% limits of agreement (1.96 6 SD). The trend line represents the association between the
differences of the methods (direct and indirect) and the mean of both methods.

measured V_ O2peak and that estimated the 4 equations in the RESULTS

20-m shuttle run test, the analysis proposed by Bland and The descriptive characteristics of the sample stratified by sex
Altman (8) was used, which allowed assessing the bias values are shown in Table 1. No significant difference was identified
and upper and lower limits. The trend was analyzed by between boys and girls for age, body mass, stature, and BMI
measuring the correlation between the difference of methods (p . 0.05).
and the average between them. Significant values were Comparisons between V_ O2peak measured from the refer-
considered when p ,0.05. The sample size was estimated ence method and estimated by the 20-m shuttle run test
according to the calculation for comparing dependent means using 4 different equations are present in Table 2. For boys,
(27), with a power of 90% and an alpha error of 5%. Based on V_ O2peak estimated only by the equation proposed by Mahar
the literature (26) and on values obtained in the pilot study, et al. (19) was not considered different (p . 0.05) from the
an expected difference of 3.0 ml$kg21 $min21 and a SD of measured value, a fact also observed in the analysis of total
the difference of 4.0 ml$kg21$min21 were considered. sample. Moreover, all estimates by the 20-m shuttle run test
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were considered different from each other (p , 0.05). In low performance of equations for estimating V_ O2peak individ-
addition, for girls, the V_ O2peak measured by the reference ually, with wide agreement limits and measurement trend for
method was considered different from all estimates provided the 4 equations.
by the 20-m shuttle run test. Among the estimates provided
by different equations, only the 1 proposed by Mahar DISCUSSION
et al. (19) evaluated V_ O2peak differently from the others The main finding of this study was that the estimates
(p , 0.05). provided by 4 regression equations analyzed are imprecise
In addition to the comparisons, a simple linear regression for V_ O2peak prediction. Although some reasonable predic-
analysis was performed to verify the performance of the 20- tions in the group analysis have been found, as in the equa-
m shuttle run test and its 4 different equations (independent tion proposed by Mahar et al. (19) for boys and total sample,
variables) as predictor variables of V_ O2peak measured by the the accuracy of individual estimates was very low for all
reference method (dependent variable). Table 3 shows the equations. Our finding was similar to a previous study (22)
regression results between V_ O2peak measured and estimated that showed a systematic bias of regression equations inves-
by 4 linear equations from the 20-m shuttle run test. Con- tigated to estimate the V_ O2peak from the 20-m shuttle run
sidering the total sample and stratified by sex, the intercept test in 8- to 10-year-old children, resulting in the overesti-
values were not different from the zero value of the identity mation for youth considered less physically fit and underes-
line (p . 0.05) for most analyses, except for V_ O2peak esti- timation for those more physically fit.
mated by the equation of Barnett et al. (5) and Mahar et al. Although many studies of cross-validation have been
(19) for boys and total sample. Moreover, the inclination performed with several equations to estimate the V_ O2peak
data were statistically different from the one (p , 0.05) in from the 20-m shuttle run test (1,5,18,19,22,24,29,30,33), the
all analyses. The correlation coefficient values ranged from most investigations has only used Pearson’s inter-class cor-
0.49 to 0.80, with higher values found for the equation of relation coefficient, paired t-test or ANOVA for repeated
Matsuzaka et al. (20) for boys (r = 0.80), Barnett et al. (5) for measures for the analysis of the results. Considering that
girls (r = 0.72) and Mahar et al. (19) for the total analysis (r = additional procedures are required to verify the data consis-
0.80). Corroborating these results, the lowest SEE values for tency, it remains unknown whether these equations are able
boys, girls, and total sample were obtained with the same to estimate with precision the V_ O2peak. In this study were
equations (5.81 ml$kg21$min21, 5.17 ml$kg21$min21, and also analyzed intercept, slope, SEE, CV, systematic bias and
5.69 ml$kg21$min21, respectively). It was also observed that random error, and homoscedasticity, important criteria to
the individual V_ O2peak values estimated by the 4 equations evaluate the performance of equations investigated.
in the 20-m shuttle run test varied approximately 12–18% of The original equation for the 20-m shuttle run test
the group mean (CV). proposed by Léger et al. (17) showed in our study a poor
Table 4 shows the values obtained in the analysis of agree- performance (r = 0.60, SEE = 7.59 ml$kg21$min21, CV =
ment between estimates provided by 4 different equations for 18.69%) and low agreement values (bias = 5.58
the 20-m shuttle run test and measurement using the refer- ml$kg21$min21; limits: 20.76/29.59 ml$kg21$min21; trend:
ence method. The correlation analysis showed that the mean r = 0.78, p , 0.001) when compared with the 3 equations
differences (bias) for boys were not considered different from applied for estimating V_ O2peak. Analogous studies
zero only for the estimation of V_ O2peak by the equation of (5,19,29,30) have also confirmed the potential systematic
Mahar et al. (19), which behavior was also observed when underestimation of V_ O2peak values estimated by the equa-
the total sample was considered. For all other analyses, there tion of Léger et al. (17). However, when analyses were strat-
was a significant bias, i.e., the mean of differences between ified by sex, the equation of Léger et al. (17) yields better
methods was considered different from zero (p , 0.05). estimates of V_ O2peak for girls, information similar to that
Moreover, the agreement limits were considered large, with previously reported by Melo et al. (22).
higher values for estimate given by the equation of Léger The discrepant between V_ O2peak values estimated by the
et al. (17) for boys (8.36 6 15.24 ml$kg21$min21) and girls equation of Léger et al. (17) and other equations for the 20-m
(2.45 6 12.63 ml$kg21$min21). Measurement trends were shuttle run test may be, at least in part, explained by aspects
observed in all analyses for the 4 equations (p , 0.001), i.e., such as testing protocol and the form of direct V_ O2peak
estimates by the 20-m shuttle run test tend to overestimate analysis. The original equation used the speed achieved in
the V_ O2peak of adolescents less physically fit and under- the last stage (1 minute) as test parameter, so if an individual
estimated V_ O2peak of those considered more physically fit. interrupts the test a few seconds from finishing a stage, only
It is noteworthy that the lowest values and correlation the speed of the previous stage will be taken into account.
between mean and the difference of methods was found This can produce errors in estimating the V_ O2peak because,
for the equation of Matsuzaka et al. (20) for boys (r = 0.57) in fact, the maximum speed corresponding to the moment in
and girls (r = 0.48). which the individual interrupted the test was not considered.
The agreement data of total sample can be seen in Figure 1. Thus, some studies have considered the count of at least half
The plotting proposed by Bland and Altman (8) confirms the of the stage (30 seconds) in which the individual completed

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Validity of Equations for the 20-m Shuttle Run Test in Adolescents

the test, so that an increased accuracy in estimating V_ O2peak equation showed lowest agreement limits for boys (20.25 6
is obtained (29,32). 12.68 ml$kg21$min21), girls (21.60 6 10.39
The low performance of equation proposed by Léger et al. ml$kg $min21), and total sample (20.89 6 11.69

(17) for estimating V_ O2peak in youth, according to some ml$kg21$min21).

studies in the literature (5,19,22,29,30), has led to the devel- In the study by Mahar et al. (19), the results found were
opment of new equations using other variables, not only age considered adequate for the sample analyzed (r = 0.65, SEE =
and maximum speed. The equations analyzed in our study 6.38 ml$kg21$min21). These values were less accuracy for
included variables such as sex (5,19,20), body mass (5,19), estimating V_ O2peak than those found in our study (r = 0.80,
BMI (20), and also the number of laps obtained during the SEE = 5.69 mL$kg21$min21). However, the original study
test (19). It has been established that in addition to chrono- (19) did not use the agreement analysis to assess the perfor-
logical age, biological maturation directly influences mance of equation for estimating V_ O2peak individually.
V_ O2peak and the performance in motor tests (3). It is also noteworthy that all equations showed measure-
Another interesting aspect to be considered is how the ment trend in our study, but despite significant (p , 0.001),
reference measurement of V_ O2peak is obtained because the the lowest correlation values between mean and the differ-
motor task involved in the performance of 20-m shuttle run ence of methods were those observed for estimates pro-
test seems to be greater complexity than that required by vided by the equation of Matsuzaka et al. (20) for boys
treadmill running protocols used for the direct evaluation of (r = 0.57), girls (r = 0.48), and total sample (r = 0.60).
V_ O2peak in the laboratory. Adolescents started the 20-m Similarly, Ruiz et al. (30) also investigated the validity of
shuttle run test at speed from moderate to high (8.5 km$h21) equations for estimating V_ O2peak from the 20-m shuttle
and need to accelerate and decelerate every time to meet the run test in youth aged 13–19 years. The authors found cor-
coming and going path (20 m) determined in the test. This relation coefficient (r), SEE, and mean differences between
was investigated by Metsios et al. (23), who obtained lower measured and estimated V_ O2peak values very similar to
V_ O2peak values in the modified Bruce protocol in treadmill those found in this study. However, the work of Ruiz
(48.1 6 2.39 ml$kg21$min21, p , 0.001) than those directly et al. (30) identified no measurement trend, i.e., the estima-
measured from the 20-m shuttle run test (52.3 6 2.28 tion errors were independent from the physical fitness. This
ml$kg21$min21). A possible alternative to solve the problem may be related to methodological issues such as direct
of differences found between motor tasks required from the V_ O2peak measurement that was carried out by portable
treadmill and 20-m shuttle run test has been using of porta- gas analyzer during the performance of the 20-m shuttle
ble gas analyzers that allow measuring the V_ O2peak directly run test protocol in field situation.
during the performance in field test (29,30). However, it was In conclusion, the data shown in this work indicate wide
not possible to adopt this procedure in our study. variation in the accuracy and agreement between equations
Additionally, other possible factors may contribute to the used in estimating V_ O2peak from the 20-m shuttle run test.
comprehension of results produced by the different equa- Thus, our results suggest that the equations of Barnett et al.
tions for estimating V_ O2peak from the 20-m shuttle run test (5), Léger et al. (17), Mahar et al. (19), and Matsuzaka et al.
in this work. The mechanical efficiency or economy of (20) are inadequate to assess the CRF from the 20-m shuttle
movement, together with V_ O2peak and aerobic capacity, de- run test in adolescents aged 11–13 years. Therefore, one
termines CRF and cannot be measured only by controlling should give special attention when comparing results from
chronological age (variable present in some equations) (28). studies using different models for estimating V_ O2peak from
Motivating youth to perform the 20-m shuttle run test also the 20-m shuttle run test.
seems to be quite important because the results depend on
the subjects’ subjective perception to achieve the maximum PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS
effort required (22). Thus, one should be careful and aware The field tests used to evaluate CRF area viable alternative to
about the standardized instructions provided by the evalua- check this component in various populations because it can
tors before and during the test. Therefore, the importance of be administered in a relatively small space either indoors or
checking the quality of measurements in repeated situations outdoors and in places without extensive facilities. However,
also should be highlighted. it is unclear which regression equation is most accurate for
The results of this study indicated that among the 4 estimating V_ O2peak from the 20-m shuttle run test in ado-
equations selected, the equation proposed by Mahar et al. lescents. In this study, all equations analyzed showed low
(19) in a sample of American adolescents aged 12–14 years performance and agreement in estimating V_ O2peak individ-
using the number of laps obtained in the test was the only ually. Thus, although the accuracy of individual V_ O2peak
one that overestimated the V_ O2peak values. However, no predictions is unacceptable for all equations analyzed, when
difference was found between means when the value mea- the assessment is addressed to the school environment, our
sured by the reference method for boys (bias = 20.25 results suggest the use of equation of Mahar et al. (19)
ml$kg21$min21, p . 0.05) and total sample (bias = 20.89 because it seems to show the best estimates considering total
ml$kg21$min21, p . 0.05) were contrasted. Moreover, this group (males and females) or only male adolescents.
the TM

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Manual. Lohman, TG, Roche, AF, and Martoreli, R, eds.

Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics Books, 1988. pp. 3–8.
We would like to express thanks to all the participants for 16. Katzmarzyk, PT, Church, TS, and Blair, SN. Cardiorespiratory
their engagement in this study and also the Foundation for fitness attenuates the effects of the metabolic syndrome on all-cause
the Support of Scientific and Technological Development of and cardiovascular disease mortality in men. Arch Intern Med 164:
1092–1097, 2004.
Paraná (FAADCT/Brazil) and National Council of Techno-
logical and Scientific Development (CNPq/Brazil) for the 17. Léger, LA, Mercier, D, Gadoury, C, and Lambert, J. The multistage
20-meter shuttle run test for aerobic fitness. J Sports Sci 6: 93–101,
grants conceded to E.R.V.R and E.S.C., respectively. The 1988.
authors recognize no conflicts of interest. The results of this 18. Liu, NY, Plowman, SA, and Looney, MA. The reliability and
study do not constitute endorsement of the National validity of the 20-meter shuttle test in American students 12 to 15
Strength and Conditioning Association. years old. Res Q Exerc Sport 63: 360–365, 1992.
19. Mahar, MT, Welk, GJ, Rowe, DA, Crotts, DJ, and McIver, KL.
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