Children's Fitness Testing FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about fitness testing children. There are also questions and answers about specific fitness tests.

What age is appropriate to start fitness testing children?

Fitness testing is conducted in many primary (elementary) schools, particularly in the push to reduce the incidence of obesity and low fitness levels in young people. In our poll on this subject it is clear people's views vary on this subject. Some critics believe that fitness testing should not be conducted on children, but I think that there are great benefits from testing and encouraging kids to undertake physical activities, and physically children of school age are capable of performing maximal fitness tests.

Are there specific tests designed for testing children?

There are some fitness tests that have been adapted for use with children by using lower weights, shorter distances and times, and using simple instructions and modified equipment. For a list of some of these see the Testing Children page. On the other hand, there is no reason to change many of the common fitness tests when testing children.

Are there any adjustments when working out the O2 uptake in school age children?

The VO2 equivalent scores from the beep test calculator are from the study by Ramsbottom et al. (1988). I don't recall the age group that was used to develop the tables, though they were probably not school children. Therefore the calculator is probably not suitable for that age group, and the scores from it not accurate. In any case, you don't need to adjust for gender, just use different norm tables for boys and girls.

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