Insufficient participation in physical activity and low fitness is associated with an increased risk of disease in both adults and children. Fitness testing in large populations is difficult as it requires expensive equipment and may be unsafe for volunteers with low exercise tolerance. We have developed a simple 8-minute step test for estimating individual fitness that is easy to administer and uses field-work friendly equipment.
The purpose of this study was to test the accuracy of the step test and one other short exercise test (walk test) for the estimation of fitness against a standard maximal exercise test estimate (treadmill). The treadmill test is a physically demanding test, which requires walking, jogging and maybe some running on a treadmill till exhaustion. It is hoped that the Step Test will offer a simpler, cheaper, and safer alternative to the maximal exercise testing.