Body composition, VO2max and the lifestyle of young students of the higher education


  • João Mendes Leal
  • Tomás García Calvo
  • Pedro Antonio Sánchez Miguel
  • Ruperto Menayo Antúnez
  • Eduardo Cervelló Gimeno



The purpose of this study was to characterize the subjects of the sample in what concerns their corporal composition, through the index of corporal mass and of the percentage of fat mass, their cardiorespiratory capacity, their eating and smoking habits, and indexes of practice of physical activity. It also aimed to verify if there were statisticallyrelevant relationships between these variables. The study was carried out in 2006 and 2007, in Beja, a city in the South of Portugal. The sample comprised 183 students attending the first year of all the courses of a higher education institution in the school year of 2006/07, with ages ranging from 18 to 40 years old. Through a questionnaire, the Astrand Test, and the technique of electric bioimpedance, we obtained the results that allowed us to reach the intended objectives. We used the program Bodygram to obtain the data related to the index of corporal mass and the percentage of fat mass, and the program SPSS, version 14.0, to accomplish the descriptive analysis of the data, a variance analysis and also a correlational analysis. We found evidence that 62.8% of the subjects of the sample presented values of percentage of fat mass above the recommended limits and that 55.7% obtained very low values of VO2max. We also found that 61.7% didn’t consider themselves active subjects in what concerns the regular practice of physical activity, and that this variable was correlated with VO2máx.(p=0.01). We could conclude that most of the subjects of our sample presented low indexes of physical activity, deficient cardiorespiratory capacity and high values in what concerns the percentage of fat mass. The practice of physical activity showed to be positively correlated with the cardiorespiratory capacity. It is necessary to implement more effective campaigns to combat obesity and to sensitize for the regular practice of physical activity and for good eating habits.



Original Article