Testing the Elderly

Why Test Seniors?

Physical fitness has traditionally been associated with the more active young through to the middle-aged population. However, functional fitness is most critical for those in their senior years. It is important for older adults to have adequate strength, flexibility, and endurance to accomplish everyday tasks. Assessing these components of fitness can detect weaknesses which can be treated before causing serious functional limitations.

Precautions

Any person older than 35 years of age, particularly anyone overweight or with a history of high blood pressure and heart disease, should consult a physician before undertaking any vigorous testing. Make sure that a medical clearance has been given. The Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PARQ) is a medical screening questionnaire that is commonly used. When testing, make sure that medical assistance and first aid supplies are close at hand, and adequate resuscitation equipment should be available nearby.

Testing Programs

Specific Tests

Here are some tests that have been designed specifically for testing the elderly, or are common tests that have been modified to suit testing of older persons. There are many other tests on the complete Fitness Testing List that would also be suitable for testing seniors.

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