PRINCIPLES OF FITNESS TESTING

 

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When it comes to measuring fitness, you want to be able to use the smallest number of tests that

 

are reliable and valid for the aerobic fitness and strength related tasks related to every day living.

   

are commonly known

 

 

take the shortest possible time to administer

 

 

can be conducted individually or in groups

 

 

people can administer themselves

 

 

can be administered or supervised by anyone with an interest in fitness and who has undergone a simple training program, though for an 'official' test we recommend someone with an OH&S and/or fitness qualification

 

 

can be administered in any location in the world

 

 

do not require specialized facilities - can be administered indoors or outdoors

 

 

are safe

   

can be replicated in training at home

 

 

can be trialled by people themselves in preparation for an official test

 

 

provide people with results they can meaningfully understand and determine where they stand in the fitness pantheon

 

 

are based on standards that are readily achievable by people in the workforce - regardless of their age

 

 

require a minimal amount of equipment

 

 

require minimal set-up time.

 

MEASURING AEROBIC FITNESS

 

It's important that aerobic fitness be in a fitness test battery because aerobic fitness is the foundation of good metabolic health..

 

The most meaningful way to measure it is the Miller 20m, 5 minute run. The test involves people seeing how many laps of a 20m course they can complete in 5 minutes. It's an improvement on the 'beep test'.

 

In our experience people in poor metabolic health will walk for the full five minutes. People who are fit will run.

 

Those in between will walk, shuffle and jog.

 

A trained observed can monitor progress of participants and slow down those who are not in good shape and who appear to be struggling.

 

People in poor shape will do less than 20 laps. People in good shape will do over 40 laps.

 

The worst case we’ve seen is 9 laps. The best case is 60 laps for men and 55 for women, so the test provides a very discriminating set of scores.

 

It is suitable for elite force employees. We recommend the diamond or platinum levels.

 

The advantage of the Miller 20m run over the ‘beep test’ is that it takes less time to administer and doesn’t require a device to broadcast ‘beeps.’ It is suitable to use with groups, with up to 20 people being able to take part in the test at the same time.

 

Click here to read more about the test.

 

The Miller 20m run test provides participants with more meaningful feedback about the status of their aerobic fitness than the ‘beep’ test. For many people it is a salutary reminder of just how out of condition they are, compared with what their condition has been in the past.

 

People can use the test at any time to measure their aerobic fitness at home.

 

It provides more meaningful feedback than a bicycle ergometer test.

 

You won’t find this test in any red or green book because the medical industry at the parish level doesn’t measure aerobic fitness. Cardiac specialists do, expensively, with their clients on a treadmill or stationary bike while hooked up to a range of monitors.

 

However, treadmill and stationary bike tests don't provide people with the feedback they need to gain an understanding of just how aerobically fit they are.

 

Treadmill and stationary bike tests

Treadmill and bicycle ergometer tests are, in the main progressive - ie you keep increasing the speed and the elevation until people are forced to give up. Being one-on-one they are expensive and time-consuming to do.

 

They are good tests for people with severe metabolic dysfunction where heart rate and other vital functions need to be closely monitored while the test is done.


Heart rate monitor fitness tests

You can measure aerobic fitness using a Polar Heart Rate Monitor with participants sitting down. It’s a useful test for people in poor metabolic condition, where the risk of even the Miller 20m run test may not be appropriate.

 

However, whilst it provides metabolic function testers with a good measure of aerobic fitness, it doesn’t provide the participants with overly meaningful information, other than that they are in good, poor or indifferent condition.

 

MEASURING STRENGTH

 

The principles that apply to deciding which aerobic fitness test is the best also apply to the selection of tests of strength.

 

You want to smallest number of tests that people can do on a regular basis at home. The tests become the training program to improve all-round body strength.

 

We believe the four tests:

 

•  Situps - front of body and trunk strength

 

•  Pressups - upper body and trunk strength

 

•  Squats - leg strength

 

•  Arm hang - hand, arm and shoulder strength.

 

... fit the needs of a small number of tests measuring the strength of a wide range of muscles.

 

We believe the people who perform best in these three tests will perform best at any tests specifically related to a job that involves lifting, carrying, holding and propelling objects.

 

 

 

Miller Health Pty Ltd

7 Salvado Place, Stirling (Canberra) ACT 2611 Australia

61 2 6288 7703