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How To Check Your Fitness Age: Everything You Need To Know

What is my fitness age? How to calculate my fitness age with a fitness age test? Click here to discover more.
The GlycanAge Team

We all know our chronological age (the number of years we’ve been alive); it’s been imprinted on our birth certificate since the day we were born. But what about our fitness age?

While ageing is an inevitable part of life, physical fitness is crucial to leading a long and healthy life; yet, evidence suggests that around 20 million adults in the UK never exercise [1]. Thankfully, Norwegian researchers have developed a test that can easily measure your fitness levels by simply answering a few questions. 

You may not know your fitness age, but it’s worth finding it out as research suggests it provides a more accurate picture of your health state than your chronological age and may even predict how long you’ll live [2]. For instance, you may be 28 in ‘earth years,’ but a health and fitness age test might tell you you’re closer to 35, or vice versa.

Keep reading if you’re keen to find out your fitness age and want to learn more about the test, including how it works, what it measures, and why it’s important to test your fitness level at any age.

What Is A Fitness Age Test?

The physical fitness age test was developed in 2013 by researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology to predict how long a person would live based on their level of physical fitness.

A person’s fitness age can fluctuate depending on their diet and the amount of exercise they do. The lower their fitness age compared to their chronological age, the longer they are likely to live, according to the test. 

Researchers tested the calculator on over 4,000 senior athletes aged 50 and above to assess how this information translates to real-life practicality. While the athletes’ average chronological age was 68, results revealed their average fitness age was 43 - a striking 25 years less. 

Fortunately for those with a fitness age higher than their actual age, simply doing more and intense exercise consistently can gradually decrease their fitness age over time and potentially increase lifespan. 

How Does A Fitness Age Test Work?

The fitness age calculator uses a simple online test to determine your fitness age. This test assesses your VO2 max to predict your endurance and cardiovascular health. VO2 max is a scientific term for how well your body can take in and utilise oxygen during exercise and is considered the most precise measure of overall cardiovascular fitness.

While factors such as age and gender can influence a person’s VO2 max, the level of physical activity also plays a part. In other words, the more you exercise, the better your body can absorb oxygen and the fitter you are. 

So, you can be 30 years old and have the fitness age of a 20-year-old because your VO2 max is higher; conversely, you can be 40 and have a fitness age of 60 due to lower cardiovascular endurance levels. 

In order to determine your VO2 max, the test requires you to answer a series of questions on:

  • Where you live
  • Ethnicity
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Maximum heart rate
  • Frequency, length, and intensity of exercise
  • Waistline measurement
  • Resting heart rate

Based on these variables, the test algorithm will return a result to tell you how old your body actually is, without needing high-tech equipment, qualified personnel, or actual exercise tests. 

Who Should Take A Fitness Age Test?

The age of peak physical fitness is between the mid-20s and early-30s. After this period, there is a gradual and subtle decline in physical health, often accelerated due to a lack of physical activity.

Anyone who would like to discover whether they are as fit as they should be for their age should take an online fitness age test. Measuring your fitness age provides powerful knowledge to help mitigate the negative health consequences of a lack of exercise, as well as maintain and increase physical capability.

It’s never too late to find out your fitness age and implement positive change. Starting regular exercise as late as in your 80s can reverse the decline in fitness age and drastically improve overall health. 

However, the elderly and those with preexisting health conditions should consult their doctor about the amount and type of exercise to engage in to avoid overexertion.

Why Is It Important To Take A Fitness Age Test

Taking a fitness age test can be highly useful and informative, providing important insights into the current state of your health and possibly prompting you to take preventative action to help increase your wellness and healthspan 

For instance, one study of 55,000 Norwegians compared their fitness age to their death records. Results showed a positive correlation between fitness levels and mortality; those with an average or above-average fitness age (one that was lower than their chronological age) also had lower levels of premature death [3]. 

The study’s authors, therefore, suggest that fitness age may be a better predictor of early death than more traditional measures of mortality risk, such as obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and smoking.

In addition to predicting premature death based on physical activity, the fitness calculator can also estimate the risk of heart disease, fatty liver disease, depression, and dementia. 

Around 550 million people globally live with heart and circulatory diseases, while an estimated 80-100 million have fatty liver disease in the U.S. alone [4] [5]. Moreover, around 280 million and 55 million people worldwide live with depression and dementia, respectively [6] [7]. 

Considering such stark statistics, learning one’s fitness age may be the catalyst for positive lifestyle changes that can effectively lower it, thereby reducing an individual’s chances of getting sick and dying at an earlier age. 

Where Can I Complete A Fitness Age Test?

You can take a fitness age test online from various websites, including World Fitness Level and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. This test involves simply answering a series of questions to determine your true fitness age. 

Alternatively, you can check your fitness age by partaking in a series of physical endurance workouts for a more personal calculation, like the one here. The process involves taking five tests, noting the respective ages associated with your results, and then calculating the average of five. You then add your mobility test score to this figure to establish your fitness age.

Take Control Of Your Health With A GlycanAge Test

Because fitness age is an important marker of physical health, a fitness test is a great way to predict longevity better than chronological age. But while fitness age tests can help predict mortality based on an individual’s level of physical activity, only a biological age test can identify disease in the preliminary stage before it produces problematic symptoms.

The GlycanAge biological age test offers instructive insight into your current health state and helps you understand lifestyle areas you’re excelling at and those that require improvement. Based on this information, you can adopt healthy and sustainable lifestyle changes that delay and reverse ageing

All it takes is a quick and easy finger-prick blood test in the convenience of your home to discover your biological age. Once you’ve mailed your sample to the GlycanAge lab, you’ll receive your results within 3-5 weeks, along with a comprehensive report providing a detailed breakdown to help you better understand the health implications of your current biological age and how to improve it.

GlycanAge aims to make its biological age tests accessible to as many people as possible by offering various packages and price plans. A single test (£289) is best if you’re starting your wellness journey and want to discover your biological age. Two tests (£492) are highly recommended to track your progress as you work towards healthy ageing. Alternatively, a custom plan is best suited to those interested in making long-term improvements to their health, with additional discounts and tailored support. 

Whichever package you choose, you can take advantage of a complimentary 1-1 consultation with one of our scientists and/or healthcare professionals for each test you purchase to help you understand your results and take proactive measures in reversing your biological age. 

Invest in your health and order your GlycanAge home testing kit today.


The GlycanAge Team

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