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Am J Epidemiol. 1985 Mar;121(3):382-90.

A simple, valid step test for estimating maximal oxygen uptake in epidemiologic studies.


The authors' modification of the Astrand-Rhyming Cycle Ergometer Test is of short duration, has low initial and peak work rates and was in an earlier study applied for population fitness testing (N = 587) at a survey center after other cardiovascular risk factor measures were obtained in the home. To add fitness testing in the home, the authors have designed a safe, brief 10 inch (25.4 cm) high step test for estimating maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max). Measured maximal oxygen uptake for step tests has been shown to be approximately 10% higher than that reported for cycle tests. All test instructions and stepping rates were included on a cassette tape; heart rates were monitored by a digital tachograph during the last 30 seconds of stepping. Maximal oxygen uptake was measured directly on a bicycle, estimated by the step test, and measured by the authors' bike test in 48 men and women aged 19-70 years who took part in a community fitness program in Pawtucket, Rhode Island in January-February 1983. No significant differences in maximal oxygen uptake were found between the bicycle protocols. The step test estimate of maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) was significantly higher (12%) than directly measured VO2max, reflecting the expected difference between stepping and cycling. The correlation between direct and both estimates was 0.92. The cross-validation correlation between the estimates was 0.98. The authors' protocol provides accurate estimates of maximal oxygen uptake and is safe and suitable for in-the-home assessment of fitness of people aged 19-70 years for epidemiologic studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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