Assessment of aerobic capacity in young women after the COVID-19 pandemic, a pilot study

Małgorzata Fortuna, Jacek Szczurowski, Antonina Kaczorowska


Introduction: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection causes multi-organ damage, including in the respiratory and circulatory systems, the basic systems associated with aerobic capacity. Many researchers describe long-term persistent changes in many people who have had a viral infection. This study aimed to investigate the effects of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on the level of physical fitness in female students.
Materials and methods: Women (n = 72; 21–23 years old) were divided into 3 groups of 24. The first group was studied in 2015, the second in 2018, and the third in 2022. In the third group, the subjects were infected with SARS-CoV-2. The maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) parameter was evaluated in the subjects. The Astrand test was used for the assessment. Results were statistically analyzed.
Results: The differences between the mean VO2max were statistically significant (p ≤ 0.001). The mean VO2max from 2022 was significantly lower than in 2015 and 2018.
Conclusions: Infection with SARS-CoV-2 can cause long-term impairment of physiological functions of the body, which may be associated with a decrease in aerobic capacity.


SARS-CoV-2; health; VO2max; aerobic capacity; pandemic

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