Did you know that physical inactivity is today the fourth leading risk factor for death globally? Inactivity also increases the risk of many health conditions, including: coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, breast and colon cancer, and depression.
In the current climate, being unfit and unhealthy has highlighted the increased risks that obese, overweight, and unfit people are facing in terms of virus protection. Obese or overweight individuals are almost twice as likely to die from COVID-19 and other types of influenza. Studies also show that patients who have type 2 diabetes or other metabolic syndromes are ten times more at risk of dying from COVID-19. We cover this sometimes complicated relationship between exercise, the immune system, and virus-protection in depth in our latest blog.
So how can we quantify, measure, track, and improve physical health, so we can better protect ourselves against disease, and ultimately live longer? It’s a big ask. But Wattbike has the answer: Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) testing.
What is CRF?
In simple terms, CRF tells you how effective your body is at transporting oxygen to the places where it’s needed the most. CRF quantifies the functional capacity of an individual and is dependent on the current state of a linked chain of processes in your body; your respiratory, cardiovascular and skeletal muscle systems. CRF is therefore health related - where low CRF is associated with high risks of premature death from all causes, and a high CRF is associated with a reduction in premature death from all causes.
CRF is a measure of VO2max, which is the amount of millilitres of oxygen per kilogram per minute that it takes for your body to function. Your VO2 max score is therefore related to the functional capacity of your heart. Research shows that by improving your CRF score by 8 points, you will improve your active life expectancy by 1 year. Talk about a lot of bang for your buck.
Wattbike is a pioneer of indoor cycling technology, so we created an easy-to-do, accessible, and accurate test that gives each individual their CRF score and predicted VO2max to show them their current health and fitness benchmarks. Individuals are then assigned a personalised, effective training plan that will increase their CRF score at the end of the recommended training block. This is the Wattbike Health Assessment.
What is the Wattbike Health Assessment?
The Wattbike Health Assessment was launched in 2017 via the Wattbike Hub app. The Health Assessment is a submaximal ramp test that quantifies each individual’s CRF and provides them with personalised data and training zones to enable them to improve their score; so anyone can improve their health and extend their active life. The CRF test also functions like a risk assessment, and can be used as a preventative measure to determine if an individual is at particular risk of developing cardiorespiratory or metabolic disorders based on their fitness level.
The accuracy and reliability of our Health Assessment was picked up by health giant Bupa, and in late 2019, our official partnership was announced. Today, anyone can sign up to undertake the Health Assessment at numerous Bupa clinics around the UK to examine and analyse every part of their health, or you could undertake the Health Assessment at home to gain insight into your cardiorespiratory fitness.
How to do it
To test your CRF, download the Wattbike Hub app, create/update your profile, and navigate to the Health Assessment via Tests > Health Assessment Submax Test. Proceed to make sure that your gender, weight, and fitness level are correct. If you have any pre-existing medical conditions please speak to your GP before undertaking the test, and always make sure you have someone with you during the test to monitor your fatigue levels.
Before you start the test in the app, you can see the recommended start watts and ramp watts for your fitness level, so there is no need to change these. The start watts/ramp watts is the amount of watts you will start at, and the amount of watts each ramp will increase with every minute. Start the test and follow the on-screen instructions.
Stop the test once you have reached a 7/10 on the Borg RPE scale of exertion.
Once completed, you will be provided with:
- CRF Score by gender, age, and body mass – CRF from normative data chart for comparison
- Estimate of maximum heart rate (MHR)/functional threshold HR (FTHR), maximum minute power (MMP)/functional threshold power (FTP)
- Exercise and Training zones (heart rate and power)
- Benchmark 10’ Health Assessment at 65% of MMP/91% of FTP and 82% of MHR/99% FTHR following a period of training (12 weeks)
- A recommended Health Plan
What do I do next?
Once you have completed the test, you can proceed with your recommended 12-week training plan, which can be found in Plans > Health Plans. At the end of the 12 weeks, it is recommended to undertake the 10 Minute Health Assessment test to find out how much you have improved your CRF.
If you are keen to try other Wattbike workouts and Training Plans, you can find them all for free in the Wattbike Hub app which is available for Apple, Android, and as a desktop version for increased analysis options. In the app, you can also find a multitude of different workouts, including Endurance workouts, Speed workouts, HIIT workouts, and Cycling Simulations.
The training zones that you receive from the test are saved to your Wattbike Hub profile - so every workout and training plan you decide to undertake will be individually tailored to you and your different training zones.
Are you ready to assess your health, and extend your life? Find out more on the Health Assessment, or get in touch with our customer services.
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