A graduated cylinder in front of a pair of lungs (mLs of oxygen), against a rusted kilogram weight (1kg), against a minute stop-watch (min)

VO2 Max

A multipart rate used to measure the maximum amount of oxygen a person can use during maximal exercise.

The term“VO2 max” is derived from three abbreviations:

It is used to test fitness in athletes, but also in a healthcare setting, to assess patient’s cardiovascular function etc.

Measuring VO2 Max

For athletes, measuring their VO2 max is a fun experience.

They strap a mask on your mouth and nose, one hooked to a machine measuring your breathing.

Then, they stick you on a treadmill, and keep upping the speed until you cannot keep up—the point of physical collapse, basically.

(They don’t go so hard on hospital patients, for obvious reasons.)

VO2 max is a multipart rate, with three completely different terms:

If 90,000 mL of oxygen were consumed by an athlete (who weighed 80 kg), and it took 20 minutes exactly to exhaust them, we can record the following multipart rate: 90,000 mL / 80 kg / 20 min

The International System of Units uses the “rational number and grouped units” format, with the multipart rate written as: = 90,000 ÷ 80 ÷ 20 mL/kg/min = 1,125 ÷ 20 mL/kg/min = 56.25 mL/kg/min to give a result in terms of unit values.

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