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.
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.
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.
Jaana Suni, Research and Development Manager
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 updated: 25.11.2020