The effects of endurance training on functional capacity in the elderly: a meta-analysis. Academic Article uri icon


  • In this investigation, meta-analysis was used to delineate exercise induced changes in the VO2max of older individuals and test a null hypothesis of no significant training effects. Parameters included in the analysis were age of the subjects, length of the training regimen, frequency and duration of exercise bouts, pretraining VO2max, posttraining VO2max, and the difference between pretraining and posttraining VO2max (delta VO2max). Effect size for training-induced improvements in VO2max was calculated, corrected for bias, weighted, and analyzed according to contemporary meta-analysis procedures. The mean effect size was found to be 0.65 standard deviation units, representing an improvement in oxygen consumption of 22.8%. The mean effect size was also significantly different from 0 (P < 0.0001), and the null hypothesis was rejected. Stepwise regression analysis indicated that length of training, pretraining VO2max, and duration of training bouts accounted for 59% of the total variation in delta VO2max. In addition, age was found to be inversely correlated with pretraining VO2max (r = -0.56, P = 0.002), and delta VO2max (r = -0.56, P = 0.003). It was concluded that endurance training significantly increases functional capacity in the elderly, and that the increase is related to subject age, duration of exercise bouts, length of the training regimen, and pretraining VO2max.

published proceedings

  • Med Sci Sports Exerc

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Green, J. S., & Crouse, S. F.

citation count

  • 48

complete list of authors

  • Green, JS||Crouse, SF

publication date

  • January 1995