ALPHA-Fit, which stands for "Assessing the Levels of Physical Activity and Fitness", is a project coordinated by Dr. Michael Sjöström from the Karolinska Institutet and funded by the Directorate General for Health and Consumers Affairs (DG SANCO) of the EU, to assess the health-related fitness status in children and adolescents of the European Union. There is also an Adult ALPHA-Fit version for those aged 18–69 years.
The evidence-based ALPHA-Fitness test battery include the following tests. The order listed is the recommended sequence to administer. The links below are to general descriptions of these tests. For specific instructions for conducting the Adult ALPHA fitness test battery please consult official publications.
- Pubertal status (Tanner stages)
- weight, height, and body mass index (BMI) - to assess body composition.
- waist circumference — to assess body composition.
- skinfold thickness (triceps and subscapular) - to assess body composition.
- handgrip strength — to assess musculoskeletal fitness
- standing broad jump — to assess musculoskeletal fitness
- 20 m shuttle run test — to assess cardiorespiratory fitness
- 4x10m shuttle run — to assess motor fitness
The ALPHA health-related fitness test battery presents three slightly different versions depending on the available time to administer the tests.
- Evidence-based ALPHA health-related fitness test battery. This version of the battery includes weight and height (BMI), waist circumference, skinfolds thickness (triceps and subscapular), handgrip strength, standing long jump, and 20m shuttle run tests. The time needed to administer this battery to a group of 20 individuals by one tester is around 2 hours and 30 minutes.
- High priority ALPHA health-related fitness test battery. When there are time constraints you can omitt the assessment of the skinfold thickness. The time required to administer this battery to a group of 20 children by one trained physical education (PE) teacher or a health-professional is less than 2 hours (i.e. 2 PE sessions of ~55 minutes).
- Extended ALPHA health-related fitness test battery. In those cases where there are no time limitations, we recommend using all the tests included in the evidence-based battery together with one additional test (4x10m shuttle run) to assess motor fitness.
- Ruiz JR1, Castro-Piñero J, España-Romero V, Artero EG, Ortega FB, Cuenca MM, Jimenez-Pavón D, Chillón P, Girela-Rejón MJ, Mora J, Gutiérrez A, Suni J, Sjöström M, Castillo MJ. Field-based fitness assessment in young people: the ALPHA health-related fitness test battery for children and adolescents. Br J Sports Med. 2011 May;45(6):518-24. doi: 10.1136/bjsm.2010.075341. Epub 2010 Oct 19.
- Tejero-Gonzalez CM1, Martinez-Gomez D, Bayon-Serna J, Izquierdo-Gomez R, Castro-Piñero J, Veiga OL. Reliability of the ALPHA health-related fitness test battery in adolescents with Down syndrome. J Strength Cond Res. 2013 Nov;27(11):3221-4. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31828bed4e.
- About the Adult ALPHA-Fit version.
- More about Fitness Testing Children.
- Poll: What age is appropriate to start fitness testing children?
- Fitness Testing for Specific Populations