Non-Exercise Fitness Test

The Non-Exercise Fitness Test is a simple and safe test of VO2max as it determines your fitness level without you having to do any exercise, using a regression equation developed by Jackson et al. (1990).

purpose: a simple test to calculate cardiovascular fitness level.

equipment required: calculator, stadiometer and scales to measure height and body weight, and possibly skinfold calipers or other method to measure % bodyfat.

pre-test: Explain the test procedures to the subject. Prepare forms and record basic information such as age, height, body weight, gender and test conditions. Check and calibrate equipment if required. See more details of pre-test procedures.

procedure: The values required for the regression equations are age, gender, body mass index (BMI) or percent body fat and physical activity rating (PA-R). For BMI you will need measures of height and body weight. Percent body fat can be either measured or calculated. Enter the appropriate values in the equations below to get a value for VO2max.

calculations (from Jackson et al. 1990): There are two different equations, depending if you wish to use BMI or % Bodyfat measures of body composition. Use the calculated and known values to complete these equations, where PAR = Physical Activity Rating, A = Age (in years), BMI = Body Mass Index, % fat = Percent body fat (multiplied by 100; e.g., 25% × 100 = 0.25 × 100 = 25), and G = Gender (0 for women, 1 for men).

VO2max = 56.363 + 1.921(PAR) – 0.381(A) – 0.754(BMI) + 10.987(G) (if using BMI)

VO2max = 50.513 + 1.589(PAR) – 0.289(A) – 0.522(% fat) + 5.863(G) (if using %Bodyfat)

results: Your result is a VO2max score, so can be rated using these VO2max tables.

target population: This is a simple and safe test for assessing large groups, those starting out or of low fitness level, the elderly, and for those unable to exercise due to musculoskeletal disorders.

advantages: Only basic equipment is required. You can get a measure of your fitness quickly, safely, without doing any exercise.

disadvantages: The results are partly based on your subjective self-assessed level of physical activity. This test cannot be as accurate as an exercise based test.

reference: Jackson, A. S., Blair, S. N., Mahar, M. T., Wier, L. T., Rossand, R. M., & Stuteville, J. E. (1990). Prediction of functional aerobic capacity without exercise testing. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 22(6), 863-870.

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