Cardiovascular Step Test

In order to ascertain the levels of fitness in the area of a man or woman's cardiovascular response, a very definite test has been devised that can provide measurable and reliable results. This test is often referred to as the "cardiovascular step test", which is sometimes shorteded to the "cardio step test". This article will take an overview look at this kind of test, what it entails and why it is so important to ascertaining fitness levels.

What is the Cardio Step Test

In an attempt to assess cardiorespiratory fitness, step tests were created and have been widely used on many people of all ages and from all walks of life. A person's work rate can be determined by adjusting the step height and measuring the person's step frequency. The test itself is carried out under strict conditions and the subject may be set up with monitoring equipment for accurate results. The subject then performs repetitive stepping exercises up and down on a raised platform, in a similar way to doing step aerobics. The platform can be raised or lowered to alter the training resistence of the subject and to gather a range of test results.

The number and the duration of each work period determines the total amount of work that has been done during the test. In all step tests, the person's performance is based on their heart rate during recovery and how soon it returns to normal. Step tests can provide very reliable and completely valid measures of a person's cardiorespiratory fitness. This is as long as the subjects received adequate instruction and had the chance to practice before the criterion test is performed and that the work load exceeds a pre-ordained threshold.

There are many forms of cardiovascular exercises that are all valid ways to improve the body's physical fitness levels and these include rapid walking, running or jogging, swimming and dancing in programs such as those found in Zumba Fitness DVD home workout programs. Any form of exercise or activity that can get you out of breath, sweating profusely and raises your heart rate for a prolonged period of time can be considered cardiovascular in nature.

There is more detailed information in this article: Step tests of cardiorespiratory fitness suitable for mass testing, which takes you through the scientific methodology behind this form of testing.

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