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Ruffier Squat Test

The Ruffier Squat Test is a simple cardiovascular endurance test which involves measuring heart rate before and after performing 30 squats in 45 seconds. The test was originally developed in 1950s by James-Edward Ruffier and modified by J. Dickson, who developed the Ruffier-Dickson index (RDI). From the results of this squat test you can calculate the Ruffier-Dickson Index, commonly used in France to classify Cardio-respiratory fitness.

purpose: This test assesses leg strength and endurance.

equipment required: heart rate monitor, metronome, stopwatch, recording sheets, chair, calculator, paper and pen.

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. See more details of pre-test procedures.

procedure: Get the subject to sit or lie down, and after at least a few minutes, measure resting heart rate (HR1) by counting the pulse over 15 seconds. Set the metronome to a rate of 40 per minute. When ready, the subject performs 30 squats in time to the metronome (it should take 45 seconds). The squatting involves bending the knees to a 90-degree angle, while keeping the back straight and the arms extended straight forward. On completion of the 45 seconds, get the subject to immediately sit down, and the post-exercise heart rate is taken over the first 15 seconds (HR2), then again one minute after the test (HR3) from 1 minute to 1 minute 15 seconds post-exercise.

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scoring: Use the heart rate measurements to calculate the Ruffier Index (RI) and the Ruffier-Dickson Index (RDI). Lower scores indicate better exercise tolerance. The RDI is designed to have less emphasis on resting heart rate measure.

RI = (HR1 + HR2 + HR3 -200) / 10

RDI = [ (HR2-70) + 2(HR3 - HR1) ] / 10

where HR1 is the average resting heart rate, HR2 is the maximum heart rate recorded during the first 15 seconds of recovery, and HR3 is the 15 second average after the 1st minute of recovery.

Here are some general ratings based on the Ruffier-Dickson Index

RI Value Endurance Rating
Less than 0 Excellent
From 0 to 3 Very good
From 3 to 6 Reasonably good
From 6 to 9 Average
From 9 to 12 Moderate
From 12 to 15 Poor
From 15 and up Very poor

advantages: this simple test can be self-administered, and can be done with limited equipment.

comments: The test was designed by French doctor James-Edward Ruffier. The test is widely used in France.

variations:  The fitness index can also be calculated with different exercises, such as 20 push-ups performed for 30 seconds.


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