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J Sports Sci. 2008 Mar;26(5):491-7. doi: 10.1080/02640410701591425.

Validation of a single-stage submaximal treadmill walking test.

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Health, Physical Education and Recreation, Utah State University, 7000 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84322, USA.


The single-stage treadmill walking test of Ebbeling et al. is commonly used to predict maximal oxygen consumption (.VO(2max)) from a submaximal effort between 50% and 70% of the participant's age-predicted maximum heart rate. The purpose of this study was to determine if this submaximal test correctly predicts .VO(2max) at the low (50% of maximum heart rate) and high (70% of maximum heart rate) ends of the specified heart rate range for males and females aged 18 - 55 years. Each of the 34 participants completed one low-intensity and one high-intensity trial. The two trials resulted in significantly different estimates of .VO(2max) (low-intensity trial: mean 40.5 ml . kg(-1) . min(-1), s = 9.3; high-intensity trial: 47.5 ml . kg(-1) . min(-1), s = 8.8; P < 0.01). A subset of 22 participants concluded their second trial with a .VO(2max) test (mean 47.9 ml . kg(-1) . min(-1), s = 8.9). The low-intensity trial underestimated (mean difference = -3.5 ml . kg(-1) . min(-1); 95% CI = -6.4 to -0.6 ml . kg(-1) . min(-1); P = 0.02) and the high-intensity trial overestimated (mean difference = 3.5 ml . kg(-1) . min(-1); 95% CI = 1.1 to 6.0 ml . kg(-1) . min(-1); P = 0.01) the measured .VO(2max). The predictive validity of Ebbeling and colleagues' single-stage submaximal treadmill walking test is diminished when performed at the extremes of the specified heart rate range.

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