Measuring Overall Fitness

Are you fit? Wouldn't it be great to be able to answer this question simply with a yes or no answer, or to give a simple score of your overall fitness. It is not that easy. First of all, what is fitness? Fitness is hard to define, so it makes this often asked and debated topic equally difficult to answer. Fitness is a variable thing, you can be fit for one sport or activity but not for another. A very fit marathon runner would struggle in a sprinting race, and vice versa.

Not only is fitness hard to define, it is equally hard to measure. We have a large collection of fitness tests, which measure all aspects of fitness. We have identified about 10 factors that should be considered when assessing overall fitness. However, there is no one test that can be done to measure all of these and give you a measure of overall fitness. What is needed is a way of combining the scores from these tests into a single meaningful measurement.

There have been many attempts to come up with a single measure of fitness based on the results of a range of tests. We discuss a few of these solutions below and come up with some ideas ourselves.

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