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Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1991 Aug;23(8):966-73.

Development of a single-stage submaximal treadmill walking test.

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Exercise Physiology and Nutrition Laboratory, University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Worcester 01655.


An equation was developed to estimate maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max, based on a single submaximal stage of a treadmill walking test. Subjects (67 males, 72 females) aged 20-59 yr completed 4-min stages at 0, 5, and 10% grades walking at a constant speed (2.0-4.5 mph) and then performed a VO2max test. Heart rate and respiratory gas exchange variables were measured during the test. Multiple regression analysis (N = 117) to estimate VO2max from the 4-min stage at 5% grade yielded the following model (R2 = 0.86; SEE = 4.85 VO2max = 15.1 + 21.8*SPEED (mph) -0.327*HEART RATE (bpm) -0.263*SPEED*AGE (yr) + 0.00504*HEART RATE*AGE + 5.98*GENDER (0 = Female; 1 = Male). The constant and all coefficients were highly significant (P less than 0.01). To assess the accuracy of the model in a cross-validation group (N = 22), an estimated VO2max value was obtained using the above model. Estimated VO2max then was regressed on observed VO2max yielding the following equation (R2 = 0.92): ESTIMATED VO2max = 0.15 + 1.03*OBSERVED VO2max. The intercept and slope of this equation were not significantly different from 0 and 1, respectively. For 90.9% of the subjects in the cross-validation group, residual scores were within the range of +/- 5 In conclusion, this submaximal walking test based on a single stage of a treadmill protocol provides a valid and time-efficient method for estimating VO2max.

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