Why Test Seniors?
Physical fitness has traditionally been associated with the more active young through to the middle-aged population. However, functional fitness is most critical for those in their senior years. It is important for older adults to have adequate strength, flexibility, and endurance to accomplish everyday tasks. Assessing these components of fitness can detect weaknesses which can be treated before causing serious functional limitations.
Any person older than 35 years of age, particularly anyone overweight or with a history of high blood pressure and heart disease, should consult a physician before undertaking any vigorous testing. Make sure that a medical clearance has been given. The Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PARQ) is a medical screening questionnaire that is commonly used. When testing, make sure that medical assistance and first aid supplies are close at hand, and adequate resuscitation equipment should be available nearby.
- Groningen Fitness Test for the Elderly — a range of tests designed for testing the elderly population.
- Senior Fitness Test — a simple, easy-to-use battery of test items that assess the functional fitness of older adults.
- AAHPERD Functional Fitness Test — another test battery designed for testing the older population.
Here are some tests that have been designed specifically for testing the elderly, or are common tests that have been modified to suit testing of older persons. There are many other tests on the complete Fitness Testing List that would also be suitable for testing seniors.
- Chair Stand Test — testing lower body strength
- Block Transfer — a manual dexterity test or coordination test of fine motor abilities.
- Soda Pop Test — a simple manual dexterity test and coordination test
- Arm Curl Test — testing upper body strength
- Chair Sit and Reach Test — lower body flexibility test
- Sitting-Rising Test — assesses flexibility, balance and muscle strength
- 8-Foot Up and Go Test — agility test
- Walking Tests (aerobic fitness tests designed for the elderly):
- Buy the Senior Fitness Test Manual.
- Sports Nutrition for Older Athletes
- Fitness Testing for Specific Groups and Age Group Testing.
- About Fitness Testing Children.
- Fitness tests involving walking
- Fitness Testing for the Obese and Overweight.