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Background: The FitTrack Index is a web-based programme developed in South Africa and widely used by athletes to indicate their fitness. A need exists for a self-managed, noninvasive tool to evaluate and categorise health-related fitness in different population groups. The aim of this study was to compare the FitTrack Index with a reliable measure of cardio-respiratory fitness as indicated by maximal oxygen uptake (direct VO2max).
Methods & results: During a 12-week cross-sectional, descriptive pilot study the direct laboratory tested VO2max indicated a moderate to strong correlation with the FitTrack Index (Spearman's rho = 0.439, p = 0.089 at baseline; Spearman's rho = 0.853, p < 0.001 after 12 weeks).
Conclusions: These results suggest that the web-based FitTrack Index may be considered an appropriate tool to evaluate exercise capacity and cardiovascular fitness in healthy individuals following an aerobic training programme.
Keywords: Aerobic fitness, Exercise ability, Recreational fitness, Cardiovascular fitness, Fitness indication, VO2max