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The Senior Fitness Test (Fullerton Functional Test)

Why Test Seniors?

Fitness is very important for those in their senior years. Older adults need 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.

The Senior Fitness Test

The Senior Fitness Test was developed as part of the LifeSpan Wellness Program at Fullerton University, by Dr. Roberta Rikli and Dr. Jessie Jones. As such, the test is sometimes known as the Fullerton Functional Test. It is a simple, easy-to-use battery of test items that assess the functional fitness of older adults. The test describes easy to understand and effective tests to measure aerobic fitness, strength and flexibility using minimal and inexpensive equipment.

The Senior Fitness Test Kit is suitable for fitness professionals, health care professionals, physical therapists, and therapeutic recreation specialists who work with seniors. You can buy it from Amazon.

What Tests are included?

The individual fitness test items involve common activities such as getting up from a chair, walking, lifting, bending, and stretching. The tests were developed to be safe and enjoyable for older adults, while still meeting scientific standards for reliability and validity. Here is a list of the tests, with links to more details for each.

About the Kit

The authors are well renown academics, Roberta E. Rikli, PhD, and C. Jessie Jones, PhD.. The test kit is published by Human Kinetics Publishers. The kit includes a manual, software and a video, each available separately.

The Manual provides details about the theoretical basis for the tests. It also includes all information required to administer and score the test, and providing feedback to test participants about their results. An appendix has reproducible sample forms, charts, tables, and posters for instructors to use in their programs, including normative data based on actual performance scores of over 7,000 men and women between the ages of 60 and 94.

The optional companion software aids the user in tracking the test scores, comparing the scores to national norms, and printing useful reports on participants’ functional fitness levels. There are also calculators and several options for reports. A video that is also available shows the instructors how to administer the test battery properly to both individuals and groups.


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Testing Extra

We have over 400 fitness tests listed, so it's not easy to choose the best one to use. You should consider the validity, reliability, costs and ease of use for each test. Use our testing guide to conducting, recording, and interpreting fitness tests. Any questions, please ask or search for your answer.

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