Non-Exercise Fitness Test
The Non-Exercise Fitness Test is a simple and safe test of VO2max as it determines your fitness level without you having to do any exercise, using a regression equation developed by Jackson et al. (1990).
- purpose: a simple test to calculate cardiovascular fitness level.
- equipment required: calculator, stadiometer and scales to measure height and body weight, and possibly skinfold calipers or other method to measure % bodyfat.
- procedure: The values required for the regression equations are age, gender, body mass index (BMI) or percent body fat and physical activity rating (PA-R). For BMI you will need measures of height and body weight. Percent body fat can be either measured or calculated. Enter the appropriate values in the equations below to get a value for VO2max.
- calculations (from Jackson et al. 1990): There are two different equations, depending if you wish to use BMI or % Bodyfat measures of body composition. Use the calculated and known values to complete these equations, where PAR = Physical Activity Rating, A = Age (in years), BMI = Body Mass Index, % fat = Percent body fat (multiplied by 100; e.g., 25% × 100 = 0.25 × 100 = 25), and G = Gender (0 for women, 1 for men).
VO2max = 56.363 + 1.921(PAR) – 0.381(A) – 0.754(BMI) + 10.987(G) (if using BMI)
VO2max = 50.513 + 1.589(PAR) – 0.289(A) – 0.522(% fat) + 5.863(G) (if using %Bodyfat)
- results: Your result is a VO2max score, so can be rated using these VO2max tables.
- target population: This is a simple and safe test for assessing large groups, those starting out or of low fitness level, the elderly, and for those unable to exercise due to musculoskeletal disorders.
- advantages: Only basic equipment is required. You can get a measure of your fitness quickly, safely, without doing any exercise.
- disadvantages: The results are partly based on your subjective self-assessed level of physical activity. This test cannot be as accurate as an exercise based test.
- reference: Jackson, A. S., Blair, S. N., Mahar, M. T., Wier, L. T., Rossand, R. M., & Stuteville, J. E. (1990). Prediction of functional aerobic capacity without exercise testing. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 22(6), 863-870.
- See also the Polar Heart Rate Test which also does not require any exercise
- Questionnaires that can provide a measure of fitness without any testing include the Fitness Quotient and The International Fitness Scale.
- details of the physical activity rating (PA-R)
- about measuring VO2max
- List of endurance fitness tests