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Maximal exercise tests were given to 34 American Samoan men between the ages of 18 and 30 years. The sample included men who performed traditional bush-fallow agriculture and men who were employed in a wage economy as office employees and manual laborers. Aerobic capacity, or V02max(ml/kg/min), of the total sample was very low, 38.9 ml/kg/min, suggesting that these men had a low level of physical fitness. Also, aerobic capacity was negatively related to body fatness as measured by the sum of the skinfolds and positively related to activity level as measured by occupational energetic requirements. Since modernization in American Samoa is associated with increases in body fatness and decreases in occupational activity level, these findings suggest that changes associated with modernization have had a significant negative impact on the aerobic capacity of modernizing Samoan adult males.