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This is a walking test of aerobic fitness which is an alternative to the PACER test for FitnessGram participants. See also the description of the other alternative the 1-mile run test, and the similar Rockport Walk Test.
Purpose: This test measures aerobic fitness.
Equipment Required: Stopwatch, marked 1 mile track or path on level ground with firm and smooth surface (e.g. athletics track), heart rate monitor (optional).
Procedure: The aim of this test is to complete a 1 mile course in the shortest possible time, while maintaining a constant walking pace the entire distance. At the start, all participants are to line up behind the starting line. On the command ‘go,’ the clock will start, and the athletes begin running at their own pace. At the conclusion of the walk, each person should measure a 15-second heart rate count. Heart rate can be measured using the manual method or using a heart rate monitor (more information on measuring heart rate). The walking time and the heart rate are recorded. If using a heart rate monitor, the student can record their own time, and the last heart rate recorded during the walk is used for the walking heart rate score.
Scoring: The total time to complete the course is recorded for each participant, in minutes and seconds. Walk time and 15-second heart rate are entered in the FITNESSGRAM software. Estimated VO2max is calculated using the Rockport Fitness Walking Test equation.
Target Population: This test is designed for students aged 13 and older since it hasn’t been validated with younger samples.
Advantages: large groups of athletes can be tested at once, and it is a very cheap and simple test to perform. If the test is conducted on a 400m running track, all the athletes will be in view throughout the test, and split times can be given at each lap to help with pacing strategies. This test can be self-administered if needed
Disadvantages: Practice and pacing is required to ensure a representative score, and performance on this test can be affected greatly by motivation.
Comments: The procedures listed above may differ slightly from the official description as used for FitnessGram. Please refer to documents from these sources for exact protocols.