Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Kinesiology and Health Promotion

First Advisor

Dr. Jody Clasey


A criterion method to evaluate cardiorespiratory health is measuring peak oxygen consumption (VO2 peak) from a maximal graded exercise test (GXT). While VO2 peak is a valuable measure, heart rate recovery (HRRec) and endothelial function (EF) also describe cardiorespiratory health and fitness. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether differences exist in VO2 peak, HRRec, and EF between healthy-weight (HW) and obese (OB) women and children and to determine if there were significant correlations among these variables. A total of 60 women and children participated in this study. Anthropometric, body composition, resting heart rate and blood pressure (BP) were measured. EF was evaluated to determine the reactive hyperemia index (RHI). Finally, each subject performed a graded exercise test (GXT) to determine VO2 peak. Following the GXT, the subjects’ recovery responses were monitored for 5 minutes. A factorial MANOVA was used to evaluate differences between obesity status and age in relative VO2 peak and relative HRRec. The MANOVA resulted in a significant (p < 0.001) main effect for obesity status and age, but there was no interaction effect. HW individuals had a greater relative VO2 peak compared to OB individuals. Children had a greater relative VO2 peak and HRRec compared to adults. Absolute VO2 peak and absolute HRRec were examined using univariate ANOVAs. Women had greater absolute VO2 peak values compared to children (p2 peak and absolute HRRec, relative HRRec, and RHI. Relative VO2 peak was significantly correlated to RHI. Absolute HRRec was correlated with relative HRRec and RHI. Relative HRRec was correlated with RHI. Lack of significant differences in HRRec and EF across adiposity levels were likely due to the obese, but otherwise healthy population recruited for this study. Age affected the response to all variables included in this study.