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A sub-maximal occupational aerobic fitness alternative, when the use of heart rate is not appropriate

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Several emergency response organisations have introduced a minimum aerobic fitness test to predict performance on critical tasks, as well as to help ensure some protection against the cardiovascular stress associated with emergency situations. A popular indirect sub-maximal test of aerobic fitness is the step test; this test relies on the relationship between exercise intensity, heart rate and aerobic capacity. This relationship, and the tests that rely on it, are not valid for individuals who are on prescribed medication (often for high blood pressure) that alter the heart rate response to exercise. Objective: The purpose of the work described in this paper was to develop a sub-maximal test of aerobic fitness that did not rely on heart rate. Participants and Methods: Eighty-four subjects undertook the Tecumseh step test and a six-minute maximal walk test. Results: A Pearson Product correlation of r=− 0.81, P< 0.01 was identified between the distance that an individual could walk in six minutes and their heart rate response to the step test. Conclusions: It is concluded that the walk test offers a valid alternative to the step test for the indirect sub-maximal assessment of aerobic fitness
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-337
Number of pages5
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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