Multistage Field Test (MFT) for wheelchair users

This test is a wheelchair version of the beep test, designed by Vanderthommen et al. (2002). Participants push the wheelchair around an octagonal course marked out using cones. The speeds used are different from the standard beep test.

purpose: to evaluate physical fitness and predict peak oxygen consumption of wheelchair users.

equipment required: cones, flat hard surface, audio recording (create your own using the team beeptest software)

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. Perform an appropriate warm-up. See more details of pre-test procedures.

test layout: An octagonal course is marked out using cones (see diagram). The course is basically a 15 m x 15 m square, with each corner modified to create a 2.83 m long turning zone. The four main sides of the octagon are 11 m long. The corner zones avoid the necessity to make a sharp 90 degree turn.

wheelchair beep test diagramprocedure: The initial wheeling velocity is 6 km/hr, which is increased by 0.37 km/hr in one minute stages. A beep signifies when the subject has to be within the turning zone. The test is stopped if the subject is unable to reach the turning zone on three consecutive occasions.

scoring: The score is the number of exercise level achieved before the participants are unable to keep up with the recording.

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

advantages: this test is more cost-effective and easier to administer than the alternative laboratory fitness tests that are usually required to test the fitness of wheelchair users.

disadvantages: As with the running beep test, practice and motivation levels can influence the score attained, and the scoring can be subjective. Wheelchair skill and technique may also affect the level achieved.


test reference: Marc Vanderthommen, Marc Francaux, Cédrik Colinet, Cédric Lehance, Claude Lhermerout, Jean-Michel Crielaard, Daniel Theisen, A multistage field test of wheelchair users for evaluation of fitness and prediction of peak oxygen consumption, Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, Dec 2002, Volume:39 Issue:6 Page:685-692.

other wheelchair fitness testing references:


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