VO2 max is widely used as an indicator of health. In 2016, the
American Heart Association published a scientific statement
 recommending that cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), quantifiable as VO2 max, be regularly assessed and utilized as a clinical vital sign. This statement was based on mounting evidence that lower fitness levels are associated with high risk of cardiovascular disease, all-cause mortality, and mortality rates stemming from various types of cancers. In addition to risk assessment, the AHA recommendation cited the value measuring fitness for validating
physical activity counseling, and improving both patient management and patient health.