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Document Type

Dissertation - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department / School

Health and Nutritional Sciences

First Advisor

Jessica R. Meendering


Cardiorespiratory fitness (VO2peak) is the primary component in health-related fitness and is commonly assessed in the school setting by the Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER). The current PACER equation predicts VO2peak from a regression equation including age and maximum speed obtained during the field test. Chapter 2 of this dissertation explores the ability of the current PACER equation and other PACER equations to predict treadmill VO2peak in children. Predicted PACER VO2peak was found to be variable and inaccurate. Thus, a variety of easily measureable biometric variables were evaluated in the development of a new PACER prediction equation. The prediction of VO2peak from the PACER was improved by the Junior Jacks PACER equation which included age, waist circumference, and total PACER laps to be significant predictors of VO2peak in a sample of 7-14 year old children. Recent technological advances have made the assessment of VO2 in the field setting possible. As a result, in Chapter 3 VO2 was assessed continuously throughout the PACER. Measured PACER VO2peak was compared to treadmill VO2peak in order to evaluate differences between the two exercise testing modes. Measured PACER VO2peak was found to be greater than measured treadmill VO2peak. The higher VO2peak obtained during the PACER may be a result of children giving more effort as children may be more accustomed to the start-stop, intermittent running pattern of the PACER than the more constant-paced treadmill test. Furthermore, measured PACER VO2peak was found to be greater than VO2peak predicted from the current PACER equation. Identifying new ways to increase VO2peak may provide substantial public health benefits as higher VO2peak values are associated with better overall health. Physical activity is associated with VO2peak in children; however, sedentary time, independent of physical activity, may also be a behavior associated with VO2peak. Chapter 4 evaluated the association among sedentary time, light, moderate, and vigorous physical activity, and cardiorespiratory fitness. Vigorous physical activity, waist circumference, gender, and age were identified as significant predictors of VO2peak. Independent of the time children spent sedentary, vigorous physical activity was found to be associated with VO2peak.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Women athletes -- Nutrition Proteins in human nutrition Bones Beef


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright