For those who want to determine their fitness level but does not want to go to an extent of exercising, there is a way. It is a safe test for those who has low fitness level, the elderly as well as those who have musculoskeletal disorders.

If you’re  wondering why would we want a non-exercise fitness test. Read on: there are many who have pre-existing medical conditions such knee injuries or heart issues and may not get the green light from their doctors to engage in any kind of physical exercise. This is a good way to  measure (estimate) of their fitness level under these conditions. It is also a very safe way of measuring fitness if the person has been sedentary for a long time.

The Health Promotion Board (HPB) as well as other organisations has come up with a simple test to calculate cardiovascular fitness level.

All you need is:

  • Calculator
  • Stadiometer (height)
  • Scales (weight)
  • Skinfold callipers (% body fat)

Unless of course you already know your height, weight and percentage of body fat, then it would be easier to move on to the second step.

How to Calculate:

There are two different equations. One by Body Mass Index(BMI) while the other is by % Body Fat.

Known Values:

  • PAR = Physical Activity Rating
  • A = Age in years
  • BMI = Body Mass Index
  • % Body Fat
  • G = Gender
    0 = women, 1  = men

Example:

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

% Bodyfat,
VO2max = 50.513 + 1.589 (PAR) – 0.29 (A) – 0.522(% fat) + 5.863 (G)

Maximal oxygen uptake norms for men (ml/kg/min)

Age (years)

rating

18-25

26-35

36-45

46-55

56-65

65+

excellent

> 60

> 56

> 51

> 45

> 41

> 37

good

52-60

49-56

43-51

39-45

36-41

33-37

above average

47-51

43-48

39-42

35-38

32-35

29-32

average

42-46

40-42

35-38

32-35

30-31

26-28

below average

37-41

35-39

31-34

29-31

26-29

22-25

poor

30-36

30-34

26-30

25-28

22-25

20-21

very poor

< 30

< 30

< 26

< 25

< 22

< 20

Maximal oxygen uptake norms for women (ml/kg/min)

Age (years)

rating

18-25

26-35

36-45

46-55

56-65

65+

excellent

> 56

> 52

> 45

> 40

> 37

> 32

good

47-56

45-52

38-45

34-40

32-37

28-32

above average

42-46

39-44

34-37

31-33

28-31

25-27

average

38-41

35-38

31-33

28-30

25-27

22-24

below average

33-37

31-34

27-30

25-27

22-24

19-22

poor

28-32

26-30

22-26

20-24

18-21

17-18

very poor

< 28

< 26

< 22

< 20

< 18

< 17

 

Physical Activity Rating (PA-R)

This questionnaire tool is for categorizing a person’s level of physical activity. It is used in the equations for the Non-Exercise Fitness Test. Your PAR score is between 0 and 7.

Select the number that best describes your overall level of physical activity for the previous 6 MONTHS:

Does not participate regularly in programmed recreation, sport, or physical activity.
0 points Avoids walking or exercise (for example, always uses elevators, drives whenever possible instead of walking).
1 points Walks for pleasure, routinely uses stairs, occasionally exercises sufficiently to cause heavy breathing or perspiration.
Participates regularly in recreation or work requiring modest physical activity (such as golf, horseback riding, calisthenics, gymnastics, table tennis, bowling, weight lifting, or yard work).
2 points 10–60 minutes per week
3 points Over 1 hour per week
Participates regularly in heavy physical exercise (such as running or jogging, swimming, cycling, rowing, skipping rope, running in place) or engages in vigorous aerobic type activity (such as tennis, basketball, or handball).
4 points Runs less than 1 mile per week or spends less than 30 minutes per week in comparable physical activity.
5 points Runs 1–5 miles per week or spends 30–60 minutes per week in comparable physical activity.
6 points Runs 5–10 miles per week or spends 1–3 hours per week in comparable physical activity.
7 points Runs more than 10 miles per week or spends more than 3 hours per week in comparable physical activity.

Source: Jackson et al., (1990). Prediction of functional aerobic capacity without exercise testing. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 22(6), 863-870.
Note: 1 mile = 1.609km

The disadvantage of this test is that it may not be as accurate as an exercise test. For those who falls below average on the VO2 max table, which is a measure of a person’s aerobic fitness, and you’d like to improve it, you may want to check out our Fitness Bootcamps to raise your fitness level or go for one-on-one training.

Sharm, MSc
TeamFitnessGuru.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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