Health-related fitness test battery for middle-aged adults with emphasis on musculoskeletal and motor tests

 Aims

The purpose of this study was to develop a reliable, safe, feasible and valid field-based musculoskeletal and motor health-related fitness test battery for middle-aged adults.

Methods

The subjects were a representative sample of men (n=246) and women (n=254) between the ages of 37 and 57, 83% of whom also participated in 3-year follow-up study.

Leisure-time physical activity and self-rated health were assessed with questionnaires.

Health-related fitness was measured with 9 standard field tests consisting of the following measures of fitness:

  • musculoskeletal (one-leg squat, vertical jump, static back extension, modified push-up, hamstring muscle extensibility, trunk side-bending)
  • motor (one-leg balance)
  • cardiorespiratory (2 km Walk Test)
  • morphological (body mass index).


The inter-rater and test-retest reliability of the tests was evaluated with a small sample (n=42) of volunteers. Safety and feasibility were assessed in terms of:

  • acute complications
  • heart rate after each test
  • post-test muscular soreness
  • subject exclusion rate
  • testing time requirements.

Content and predictive validity was evaluated by studying the cross-sectional and follow-up associations between health-related fitness and self-rated health. In addition, the cross-sectional relations between leisure-time physical activity and health-related fitness were assessed.

Results

Four of the seven musculoskeletal and motor tests possessed acceptable reliability. With the aid of the standard health screening built into the testing procedure the health-related fitness assessment was safely and effectively conducted with minor physician participation.

Seven of the nine proposed tests showed prudent associations with current or future self-rated perceived health, mobility in stair climbing, back functioning and back pain.

Three of the tests also showed physical-activity-related validity for both sexes, and two had a corresponding result for the women only.

The results suggest that the developed test battery is a promising field-based method for the reliable, safe, feasible and valid assessment of health-related fitness among adult populations. With respect to validity, the development is an ongoing process.

Key Words: health-related fitness, field assessment, musculoskeletal, motor, musculoskeletal health, physical function, health promotion, adult populations.

Project finished.

Contact

Jaana Suni, Head of Health-Enhancing Physical Activity Unit

jaana.h.suni(at)uta.fi

 

Article

Suni, Jaana. Health-related fitness test battery for middle-aged adults with emphasis on musculoskeletal and motor tests, Jyväskylä: University of Jyväskylä, 2000

(Studies in Sports, Physical Education and Health, ISSN) ISBN Diss.

List of original articles

Suni, J., Oja, P., Laukkanen, R., Miilunpalo, S., Pasanen, M., Vuori, I. & Bös, K. 1996. Health-related fitness test battery for adults: aspects of reliability. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 77, 399-405.

Suni, J., Miilunpalo, S., Asikainen, T-M., Laukkanen, R., Oja, P., Pasanen, M., Bös, K. & Vuori, I. 1998. Safety and feasibility of a health-related fitness test battery for adults. Physical Therapy 78, 134-148.

Suni, J., Oja, P., Miilunpalo, S., Pasanen, M., Vuori, I.& Bös, K. 1998. Health-related fitness test battery for adults: associations with perceived health, mobility, and back function and symptoms. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 79, 559-569.

Suni J., Oja, P., Miilunpalo, S., Pasanen, M., Vuori, I. & Bös, K. 1999. Physical activity patterns in relation to health-related fitness in middle-aged men and women. International Journal of Sports Medicine 20, 183-191.

 
Last Modified: 27.11.2014

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