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6 Minute Run Test

The six minute run test has been developed as a shorter alternative to the 12 minute Cooper run test. Participants must run for six minutes attempting to cover the maximum distance possible in that time. There is also the similar six-minute walk test for testing the elderly.

purpose: to test aerobic endurance fitness (the ability of the body to use oxygen as an energy source)

equipment required: flat oval or running track, marking cones, recording sheets, stop watch, marker cones, recording sheets.

pre-test: Explain the test procedures to the subject. Perform screening of health risks and obtain informed consent. Prepare forms and record basic information such as age, height, body weight, gender, test conditions. Measure and mark out the course using cones. See more details of pre-test procedures.

procedure: Place markers at set intervals around the track to aid in measuring the completed distance. Participants run for 6 minutes, and the total distance covered is recorded. Walking is allowed, though the participants must be encouraged to push themselves as hard as they can.

results: No norm values are available for this test. To give you an idea of expected scores, the Newcastle Knights rugby team perform this test running around a 300m course. In a test conducted in 2008, one of their top players reached 1680m, 80m ahead of his nearest rival and well over a lap ahead of plenty of teammates (source: article online in the Daily Telegraph, July 2008).

running fitness test running fitness test

target population: For those who are unfit or unable to run, there are similar walking tests that can be performed.

reliability: the reliability of this test would depend on practice, pacing strategies and motivation level. There should be good reliability if these issues are addressed.

advantages: large groups can be tested at once, and it is a very cheap and simple test to perform. The test takes less time to complete then the similar 12 minute Cooper run test.

disadvantages: Practice and pacing are required to achieve the best possible score, and performance on this test can be affected greatly by motivation.

variations / modifications: The test can also be conducted by running on a treadmill for 6 minutes, set to level 1 (1 percent) incline to mimic outdoor running. There are many variations of the walk / run test.

reference: Bolonchuk, W. W. (of North Dakoda University) The Accuracy of the Six Minute Run Test to Measure Cardiorespiratory Fitness. Abstract: One hundred and twenty-five freshman students, assigned to two groups, were used for this study. Each subject completed both 12-minute and 6-minute jogging tests. The reliability of the test was established by comparing the two groups' 12-minute test results. Six-minute test results were compared between the two groups, and there was no significant difference at the .01 level. The validity of the 12-minute test had previously been established (r=.90); thus, the 6-minute test scores were compared with the 12-minute test scores. The result was r=.85.

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