Maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) is considered by many to be the best overall measure of an individual's cardiovascular health. Collecting the measurement, however, requires subjecting an individual to prolonged periods of intense exercise until their maximal level, the point at which their body uses no additional oxygen from the air despite increased exercise intensity, is reached. Collecting VO2max data also requires expensive equipment and great subject discomfort to get accurate results. Because of this inherent difficulty, it is often avoided despite its usefulness. In this research, we propose a set of Bayesian hierarchical models to predict VO2max levels in adolescents, ages 12 through 17, using less extreme measurements. Two models are developed separately, one that uses submaximal exercise data and one that uses physical fitness questionnaire data. The best submaximal model was found to include age, gender, BMI, heart rate, rate of perceived exertion, treadmill miles per hour, and an interaction between age and heart rate. The second model, designed for those with physical limitations, uses age, gender, BMI, and two separate questionnaire results measuring physical activity levels and functional ability levels, as well as an interaction between the physical activity level score and gender. Both models use separate model variances for males and females.



College and Department

Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Statistics



Date Submitted


Document Type

Selected Project




VO2max, MCMC, Bayesian Hierarchical Models, Bayes Methods