Wouldn't it be great to be able to measure someone's fitness without doing any testing, relying solely on replies to a simple questionnaire that could be completed in minutes? Here is a questionnaire devised by Topend Sports which gives a measure of fitness based on the answers to 10 simple questions. There is a shorter and even more simple written test of fitness, the International Fitness Scale (IFIS).
The test is simple, easy to conduct, and no equipment is necessary, though the accuracy and reliability are yet to be determined. Have a go - how fit are you?
Answer each of these questions as honestly as you can. If you don't know the correct answer, just make a best guess or choose the closest answer. Mark down your answer to each of the questions (a, b, c or d) then once you have completed all the questions see the marking key below to get your measure of fitness.
1. How would you describe your body weight?
- Very overweight
- Slightly overweight
- Healthy weight range
2. How many days a week do you do some form of exercise?
- 1 or 2 days
- 3 to 5 days
- 6 or more
3. Can you touch your toes?
- Not even close
4. Could you walk along a straight line, like the "Walk and Turn" field sobriety test?
- Fail miserably
- I would step off the line a few times
- I might wobble a bit but I'd make it
- No problem, give me a drink!
5. If you went out for a jog, how far do you think you could go before you had to stop for a rest?
- I wouldn't make it to the mailbox
- To the end of the block
- About a kilometer or mile
- A long way
6. How many push-ups do you think you could do?
- A few
7. How would you go if you had to move some HEAVY furniture around the house?
- I'd be no help
- I'd pitch in but need a few helpers
- I could carry one end of it myself
- I could possibly do it myself
8. What could you jump over?
- A shoe box
- A low fence
- A high hurdle
9. If you had your purse/wallet stolen, would you be able to chase down the robber?
- No way
- I'd give it a go but probably not
- I could catch the thief but possibly not overpower them
10. Confronted with a flight of stairs, would you ...?
- Choose the lift every time
- Walk up, but be out of breath
- Stride up, but still be out of breath
- Race up several flights no problem
To get your Fitness Quotient score, give yourself the following points for each answer, and add up the total to get your Fitness Quotient. a = 5 points, b = 10 points, c= 15 points, d = 20 points.
|< 70||very poor|
|70 - 100||below average|
|101 - 130||average|
|131 - 170||above average|
To score well on this test requires an above average fitness on a wide range of fitness attributes. The test was devised based on the components of fitness, using a question related to each of the main components of fitness, so that we can get a good measure of overall fitness.
- The test is cheap, simple, easy to conduct.
- no equipment is required.
- Relies on the honesty of the participants, and accuracy of their recollection.
- Some questions are culturally specific (e.g. the participants need to know what a sobriety test, what a shoebox and hurdle is, and live in a society where chasing a robber is an option) and have a certain level of knowledge (e.g. knowing about ideal weight and what is obese).
- In its current format, the test is only suitable for literate English language speakers
- The test's accuracy and reliability are yet to be determined.
- No normative values have been created.
Are you looking for a project to do? This questionnaire has not been validated, to do so needs a research project. It could probably be improved upon greatly. An example of a research project using this questionnaire would be to have a group of participants perform a validated test of fitness (e.g. other measurements of a fitness index) and compare their results to this test done around the same time. Then, after a period of training, do both tests again. Does the validated test results correlate to the results of this Fitness Quotient? Does a period of training intervention have a similar effect on both tests? You could also look at repeating the tests on a control group that did not do any training. If you do use this test in a research project, let me know.
- This project is listed on my list of Sport Science research project ideas.
- Read about a similar written test of fitness: the International Fitness Scale (IFIS)
- World Fitness Level — online VO2max and fitness age calculator based only on the answers to questions.
- More on the measurement of a fitness index
- PARQ — pre-exercise questionnaire.
- Other athletes and sport Questionnaires