|Time to step up: test your cardio fitness
by the Health 1st Wellness Wednesday table between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Nov. 5 in the Children’s Hospital lobby to test your cardiovascular
by April Taylor
MUSC Wellness Center
Do you consider yourself physically fit? Would you be able to
walk up five flights of stairs without stopping? The five-flight
test is a quick judge of your cardiovascular fitness.
Individuals who are successful at the five-flight test have been found
to have maximum oxygen uptake values of at least 20. Oxygen uptake is
the body’s ability to transport and utilize oxygen during incremental
exercise, thus helping to indicate the cardiovascular fitness of the
individual. Oxygen uptake values greater than 20, indicating a
higher fitness level, are desirable.
One of the ways that cardiovascular fitness can be analyzed is through
a field-test known as the YMCA 3-minute Step Test. The test is
conducted by having the participant step up and down on a single
12-inch step following a 96 beats per minute cadence (24 steps per
minute). Following the completion of the three minutes, the
participant sits quietly. The participant’s pulse is taken for
one full minute. Results are compared with a standard chart based
on age and gender.
While the step test is suitable as a baseline of cardiovascular fitness
for most individuals, there may be situations where it is not
appropriate. As with any exercise program or testing, always consult
with your physician before you begin. For severely de-conditioned
individuals, a one-minute pretest may be taken.
For a complete fitness assessment, stop by the MUSC Wellness Center for
information. Appointments may be scheduled by calling 792-9238 or the
Free Weight desk at 792-5754. A full fitness assessment, which takes
about one hour, includes a health questionnaire, additional
cardiovascular testing, body composition, and tests of muscular
strength, endurance, flexibility, and stability. The fee for members is
$40. Students receive one free assessment per year. An individualized
report with recommendations will be generated following the assessment.
Friday, Oct. 31, 2008