Scientific Publications Related to Oxygen Consumption and Maximal Oxygen Consumption (VO2max)

The publications section presents studies where Firstbeat solutions have been exploited.  The different scientific contexts include for example occupational health care, sleep research, psychotherapy, behavioral research, and sports coaching. Firstbeat methods have been used for research in over 100 universities and research institutions across Europe, North America, and Australia.

Title Author Year Journal/Proceedings Study design & Population Category Physiological parameter(s) Insights on findings
Smartwatch-Based Maximum Oxygen Consumption Measurement for Predicting Acute Mountain Sickness: Diagnostic Accuracy Evaluation Study Ye X, Sun M, Yu S, Yang J, Liu Z, Lv H, Wu B, He J, Wang X & Huang L  2023 JMIR mHealth and uHealth, 11, e43340 Experimental study; healthy adults, N = 46 Validation VO2max The study used Huawei smartwatch with Firstbeat’s VO2max estimation included and laboratory tests in low and high altitudes. Both at low and high altitudes, VO2max was slightly overestimated by the smartwatch but had considerable accuracy as the mean absolute percentage error (< 7%) and mean absolute error (<2 ml/kg/min), with a relatively small bias compared with VO2max-CPET. The authors concluded that smartwatch-like device can be a feasible approach for estimating VO2max.
Cardiorespiratory Fitness Estimation Based on Heart Rate and Body Acceleration in Adults With Cardiovascular Risk Factors: Validation Study Rissanen APE, Rottensteiner M, Kujala UM, Kurkela JLO, Wikgren J & Laukkanen JA 2022 JMIR Cardio 6(2):e35796 Experimental study; Adults with cardiovascular risk factors, N = 74 Validation VO2max The study validated the accuracy of Firstbeat’s cardiorespiratory fitness level (CRF) estimation method by the walking fitness test with persons having cardiovascular risk factors. The authors find that the error of the CRF estimate was likely below or at least very close to the clinically significant level of 3.5 mL/kg/min in working-aged adults with cardiovascular risk factors, but not in the relatively small subgroup of patients with type 2 diabetes. They concluded that from a large-scale clinical perspective, the findings suggest that wearable technologies have the potential to estimate individual CRF with acceptable accuracy in clinically relevant populations.
A New Fitness Test of Estimating VO2max in Well-Trained Rowing Athletes Gao WD, Nuuttila O-P, Fang HB, Chen Q & Chen X 2021 Front. Physiol. 12:701541. Experimental study; Athletes, n = 90 Validation VO2max from Firstbeat Sports The study explored the validity of Firstbeat VO2max method and the results indicated that the method provides a considerably accurate estimation of VO2max in well-trained rowers, kayakers, and canoeists. Mean absolute percentage error (MAPE) was very low compared to gold-standard laboratory test being 5.0% for rowing and 4.1% for running.
Validity of Wrist-Worn Activity Trackers for Estimating VO2max and Energy Expenditure
Passler S, Bohrer J, Blöchinger L & Senner V 2019 International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16, 30-37. Experimental study; Healthy subjects, n=24 Validity VO2max; energy expenditure The Firstbeat estimated VO2max MAPE (mean absolute percentage error) was 7.3% in 24 subjects compared to gold-standard when using chest strap for HR monitoring (Garmin 920XT). MAPE was 23.9% for energy expenditure when using optical data (Garmin Vivosmart HR)
Validating the Commercially Available Garmin Fenix 5x Wrist-Worn Optical Sensor for Aerobic Capacity.
Anderson JC, Chisenall T, Tolbert B, Ruffner J, Whitehead PN & Conners RT 2019 International Journal for Innovation Education and Research, 7(1), 147-158. Experimental study; Recretional runners, n=25 Validity VO2max The study explored the validity of the Garmin Fenix5 VO2max estimation (provided by Firstbeat) capabilities against gold-standard laboratory result in recreational runners. The scientists noted that with a mean VO2max difference of only 2.16 ml/kg/min against the gold-standard, the Garmin Fenix5 with Firstbeat analytics is a viable option to provide an accurate, cheaper, and more accessible means of obtaining VO2max in recreational runners.
Activity level and body mass index as predictors of physical workload during working career
Mänttäri SK, Oksa JAH, Virkkala J & Pietilä JAK 2019 Safety and Health at Work Cross-sectional study; Employees, n=19481 Firstbeat database VO2 The study explored physical workload among a large sample of Finnish employess with Firstbeat methods. The study highlights the importance of regular physical activity and normal weight in protecting the worker from excessive physical (cardiovascular) workload during the whole working career.
Effects of Combined Strength and Endurance Training on Physical Performance and Biomarkers of Healthy Young Women
Kyröläinen H, Hackney A, Salminen R, Repola J, Häkkinen K & Haimi J 2018 Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 32 (6), 1554-1561 Experimental study; Healthy young women, n=17 Applied use HRV, VO2max, training levels Combined endurance and strength training were performed for 9 weeks. Training program enhanced maximal endurance and strength capacity as well as some health biomarkers. Heart rate analyzed with Firstbeat Sports Software to predict VO2max.
Physical activity: Absolute intensity vs. relative-to-fitness level volumes.
Kujala UM, Pietilä J, Myllymäki T, Mutikainen S, Föhr T, Korhonen I & Helander E 2017 Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 49(3): 474-481 Cross-sectional study; Adult, n = 23224 Firstbeat database VO2 Large sample of Firstbeat measurements were used to investigate how moderate and vigorous intensity physical activity volumes differ according to absolute intensity recommendation and relative to individual fitness level by sex, age, and body mass index
Validation of the Garmin Forerunner 920XT Fitness Watch VO2peak Test
Kraft GL & Roberts RA 2017 International Journal of Innovation Education and Research, 5, 62–67. Experimental study; Students, n=16 Validity VO2max The Firstbeat estimated VO2max (in Garmin 920XT using chest strap) was not significantly different from the gold-standard laboratory result and Firstbeat estimated VO2max and laboratory result were highly correlated with a correlation coefficient of 0.84.
Validation of an indirect VO2max test designed for cycling performances. Teikara A-M 2016 Master’s Thesis in Exercise Physiology. Department of Biology of Physical Activity, University of Jyväskylä. (Abstract in English) Experimental-study; Adult, n = 29 Validity VO2max The study investigated the validity of the Firstbeat VO2max estimation in cycling, and found significant positive correlation with direct VO2max measurement (r=0.84 – 0.86) and MAPE of 7.7 – 8.7%. The study concluded that Firstbeat Fitness Test to be suitable method for VO2max estimation.
Objectively measured physical activity in Finnish employees: a cross-sectional study.
Mutikainen S, Helander E, Pietilä J, Korhonen I & Kujala U 2014 BMJ Open, Sports and Exercise Medicine 4:12 Cross-sectional study; Adult, n = 9554 Firstbeat database VO2 Firstbeat method used as a novel validated methodology to study intensity-specific physical activity in a large sample of working age individuals, with detailed associations between intensity-specific physical activity, gender, age, body mass index, and the type of day (workday vs day off)
Estimating oxygen consumption from heart rate and heart rate variability without individual calibration.
Smolander J, Ajoviita M, Juuti T, Nummela A & Rusko H 2011 Clinical physiology and functional imaging 31(4): 266-271 Cross-sectional study; Adult, n = 19 Validity VO2 Firstbeat VO2 estimation method is sufficiently accurate for field-use
Validation of Heart Rate Monitor-Based Predictions of Oxygen Uptake and Energy Expenditure.
Montgomery P, Green D, Etxebarria N, Pyne D, Saunders P & Minahan C 2009 Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 23(5): 1489-1495 Cross-sectional study; Adult, n = 17 Validity VO2; Energy expenditure Firstbeat VO2 estimation method vary ~ 6% in submaximal–maximal running compared to calibrated laboratory gas exchange system, and less if accurate background parameters are used
A new heart rate variability-based method for the estimation of oxygen consumption without individual laboratory calibration: Application example on postal workers.
Smolander J, Juuti T, Kinnunen M-L, Laine, K, Louhevaara V, Männikkö K & Rusko H 2007 Applied Ergonomics 39(3): 325-331 Cross-sectional study; Adult, n = 22 Validity; Applied use VO2; Energy expenditure Firstbeat method was compared to traditional HR-only method to estimate energy expenditure, and found useful for estimating VO2 in the field without laboratory calibration
A Novel Method for Using Heart Rate Variability Data for Estimation of Oxygen Consumption and Energy Expenditure: A Validation.
Smolander J, Rusko H, Ajoviita M, Juuti T & Nummela A 2007 ECSS congress Cross-sectional study; Adult, n = 20 Validity VO2; Energy expenditure Firstbeat method provides adequate estimates of breathing frequency and on/off-kinetics of HR and VO2, and consequently the oxygen consumption and energy expenditure
On- and Off Dynamics and Respiration Rate Enhance the Accuracy of Heart Rate Based VO2 Estimation. ACSM congress poster.
Pulkkinen A, Kettunen J, Martinmäki K, Saalasti S & Rusko H 2004 ACSM congress Cross-sectional study; Adult, n = 32 Validity VO2; Respiration rate HR-based VO2 estimation can be enhanced using information on On- and Off-dynamics and respiration rate that can be derived reliably using beat-to-beat RR-interval data only