While fitness testing, great care needs to be taken so that the proper measurement procedures are followed to minimize measurement error, however the accuracy of the measurement tool itself is often forgotten about.
Equipment may need to be calibrated regularly to ensure consistent (reliable) and accurate results. Sometimes calibrating a piece of equipment is as simple as comparing its measurements to a standard "known" measure, like a steel ruler or a set of standard weights, while other equipment may need complex devices and procedures in order to be calibrated, may need to be sent back to the manufacturer, or (commonly these days) some equipment may not be able to be calibrated at all.
If the calibration is not correct, you may be able to adjust the equipment (recalibrate), or make adjustments to the measures to make them more accurate.
Information About Calibrating Equipment
Here are some details about calibrating specific fitness testing equipment.
- Skinfold Caliper Calibration Guide — calibration of skinfold calipers for accurate body fat determination
- Handgrip Dynamometer Calibration — dynamometers may need to be calibrated regularly to ensure reliable and accurate results
- Calibrating Your Pedometer — how to measure the length of your stride to calibrate a pedometer's distance measurement.
- Calibrating Treadmill Speed — a simple way to check the calibration of a treadmill speed using measurements of the belt and a stopwatch.
- Calculating Treadmill Gradient — using trigonometry to calculate the treadmill gradient and compare it to the displayed angle.
Other Equipment Requiring Regular Calibration
- VO2max equipment - Stringent calibration of the equipment is necessary for both the expired gas and ventilation measurement systems.
- Weight Measurement - Weight measurement scales should be checked it see if they are accurate. This is easily done if you have a set of standard weights.
- Length Tape - Plastic tape measures can stretch over time. Therefore tape measures used for testing should be regularly checked against a standard, such as a metal ruler.
- List of Testing Equipment
- Calculating Distance using Video Analysis
- Beep test audio cassette tape calibration
- Pre-Test Procedures