Wheelchair Aerobic Test

The Wheelchair aerobic test is a fitness test for wheelchair bound athletes. The test period is 12 minutes, similar to the popular Cooper 12 minute run test.

purpose: to test the aerobic fitness of wheelchair users

equipment required: 400m running track, marking cones, recording sheets, stop watch.

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, gender, test conditions. Measure and mark out the test area. Perform an appropriate warm-up. See more details of pre-test procedures.

procedure: Place markers at set intervals around the track (e.g. every 50m) to aid in measuring the completed distance. Participants wheel around the track for 12 minutes, and the distance covered is recorded. The participants must be encouraged to push themselves as hard as they can.

Wheelchair athleteWheelchair athlete

scoring: Record the completed distance to the nearest 100 meters. The table below also gives general guidelines for interpreting the results of this test for adults.

rating distance
(miles)
distance
(meters)
estim. VO2max
(ml/kg/min)
excellent > 1.59 > 2560 > 36.2  
above average 1.36-1.59 2171 - 2560 29.2 - 36.2 
average 0.87-1.35  1381 - 2170 14.6 - 29.1
below average 0.63-0.86  1010 - 1380 7.7 - 14.5
poor < 0.63  < 1010 < 7.7 

target population: It is a test of aerobic fitness for people in wheel chairs.

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: several wheelchair users can be tested at once. This test is a very cheap and simple test to perform.

disadvantages: Practice and pacing are required to maximize the subject score in this test, and performance can also be affected greatly by motivation.

reference: Franklin BA, Swantek KI, Grais SL, Johnstone KS, Gordon S, Timmis GC. Field test estimation of maximal oxygen consumption in wheelchair users. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1990;71:574-578.

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