Epigenetic components for evaluating a person’s physical fitness

This 2022 human study incorporated DNA methylation measures of four physical fitness parameters into a new epigenetic clock:

“Our work introduces new DNAm biomarkers for fitness parameters of gait speed (walking speed), hand grip strength, forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), and maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max). These DNAm biomarkers represent new tools for researchers with access to blood samples and interest in epigenetic components to fitness.

Our DNAm biomarker fitness parameter biomarkers are not intended to replace true physical fitness measurements. Instead, these DNAm biomarker estimates provide an epigenetic component to evaluating a person’s physical fitness. This biomarker integrates the established DNAm prediction of mortality risk GrimAge.

DNAmFitAge provides an easily interpretable tool to relate physical fitness to biological age. Adjusting DNAmFitAge for chronological age generates a novel measure of epigenetic age acceleration, FitAgeAcceleration, which is informative for physical activity level, mortality risk, coronary heart disease risk, comorbidities, and disease-free status across several large validation datasets.


The age-adjusted version FitAgeAcceleration provides a novel measure of epigenetic age acceleration explained through physical fitness. This research demonstrates biological age can be estimated using DNAm fitness parameter biomarkers which are dependent on exercise lifestyle.”

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.03.21.22272043v1.full-text “DNAmFitAge: Biological Age Indicator Incorporating Physical Fitness”

I walk quickly on the beach almost every day at > 3 mph. I occasionally see younger people eclipse my gait speed, which makes me try harder. 🙂


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