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J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2008 Mar;48(1):37-42.

Chin-up strength tests: does stature matter?

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Rehabilitation Services, Waikato Hospital, Hamilton, New Zealand.



Many organizations place high value on employee physical fitness and use standardized physical fitness tests (PFT) to quantify it. The chin-up strength test is an example of such a test. Participants' anecdotal reports raise some concern that the latter is inherently biased against tall individuals. A demonstration that tall individuals are less likely than short individuals to achieve maximum score on a chin-up strength test, and modified scoring tables that equalize this likelihood across the stature range are sought.


A statistical summary of 85 chin-up test outcomes is analyzed for likelihood of maximum scores as a function of stature. Scoring tables modified by reducing the number of chin-ups required for maximum score in a ratio inverse to a fixed power of the stature ratios are introduced.


Statistical analysis shows that short individuals are more likely to achieve maximum chin-up test scores (P<0.05). Stature adjusted scoring tables are shown to neutralize this trend.


Current scoring standards for chin-up strength tests favor short statures. Bias-free chin-up strength tests can be achieved by using stature-adjusted scoring tables. Similar bias problems may exist for other strength tests.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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