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Pediatr Exerc Sci. 2019 May 1;31(2):152-163. doi: 10.1123/pes.2018-0179. Epub 2019 Mar 18.

The 20-m Shuttle Run: Assessment and Interpretation of Data in Relation to Youth Aerobic Fitness and Health.

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1 University of North Dakota.
2 University of South Australia.
3 Public Health Agency of Canada.
4 CHEO Research Institute.
5 University of Montréal.


Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) is a good summative measure of the body's ability to perform continuous, rhythmic, dynamic, large-muscle group physical activity, and exercise. In children, CRF is meaningfully associated with health, independent of physical activity levels, and it is an important determinant of sports and athletic performance. Although gas-analyzed peak oxygen uptake is the criterion physiological measure of children's CRF, it is not practical for population-based testing. Field testing offers a simple, cheap, practical alternative to gas analysis. The 20-m shuttle run test (20mSRT)-a progressive aerobic exercise test involving continuous running between 2 lines 20 m apart in time to audio signals-is probably the most widely used field test of CRF. This review aims to clarify the international utility of the 20mSRT by synthesizing the evidence describing measurement variability, validity, reliability, feasibility, and the interpretation of results, as well as to provide future directions for international surveillance. The authors show that the 20mSRT is an acceptable, feasible, and scalable measure of CRF and functional/exercise capacity, and that it has moderate criterion validity and high to very high reliability. The assessment is pragmatic, easily interpreted, and results are transferable to meaningful and understandable situations. The authors recommend that CRF, assessed by the 20mSRT, be considered as an international population health surveillance measure to provide additional insight into pediatric population health.


cardiorespiratory fitness; children; criterion-referenced standards; normative data; reliability; validity


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