Sports Coach Logo Sports Coach Logo

            topics

 

text Translator

 

 

site search facility

 


 

 


 

Chester Step Test

Testing and measurement are the means of collecting information upon which subsequent performance evaluations and decisions are made but in the analysis we need to bear in mind the factors that may influence the results.

Objective

The Chester Step Test was developed by Sykes (1998)[1] to monitor the development of the athlete's cardiovascular system

Required Resources

To undertake this test you will require:

The box height is determined as follows:

  • 15cm - is generally suitable for those over 40 years of age who take little or no regular physical exercise and for those under-40's who are moderately overweight.
  • 20cm - is generally suitable for those under 40 years of age who take little or no regular physical exercise and for those under-40's who are moderately overweight.
  • 25cm - is generally suitable for those over 40 years of age who regularly take physical exercise with moderately vigorous exertion.
  • 30cm - generally suitable for those under 40 years of age who regularly take physical exercise with moderately vigorous exertion

How to conduct the test

Before starting the test the assistance needs to record:

  • The athlete's Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) - use 220-age
  • The athlete's 80% of Maximum Heart Rate (MHR80) - use MHR x 0.8

The Chester Step Test is conducted as follows:

  • The assistance explains to the athlete the test requirements:
    • You will step up and down onto the box in time with the metronome.
    • Every 2 minutes the metronome will be increased by 5 steps/minute.
    • At each 2 minute period I will record your heart rate and ask you to tell me the Borg rating for your perceived exertion and if your heart rate is greater than your MHR80 or your perceived exertion level is above a certain value then the test will end.
    • The test will end after 10 minutes of stepping
    • Continue stepping whilst I record your heart rate and ask for your perceived exertion level
    • The assistance checks the athlete's understanding of the test requirements.

  • Set the metronome to 15 beats/minute
  • The athlete steps up and down, one foot at a time, onto the box for 2 minutes
  • After 2 minutes set the metronome to 20 beats/min
    • The assistance records the athlete's heart rate (HR1)
    • The athlete identifies their perceived exertion value on the Borg Scale
    • If the heart rate is greater than the athlete's MHR80 value or their perceived exertion value is greater than 14 then stop the test

  • The athlete steps up and down, one foot at a time, onto the box for 2 minutes
  • After 2 minutes set the metronome to 25 beats/min
    • The assistance records the athlete's heart rate (HR2)
    • The athlete identifies their perceived exertion value on the Borg Scale
    • If the heart rate is greater than the athlete's MHR80 value or their perceived exertion value is greater than 14 then stop the test

  • The athlete steps up and down, one foot at a time, onto the box for 2 minutes
  • After 2 minutes set the metronome to 30 beats/min
    • The assistance records the athlete's heart rate (HR3)
    • The athlete identifies their perceived exertion value on the Borg Scale
    • If the heart rate is greater than the athlete's MHR80 value or their perceived exertion value is greater than 14 then stop the test

  • The athlete steps up and down, one foot at a time, onto the box for 2 minutes
  • After 2 minutes set the metronome to 35 beats/min
    • The assistance records the athlete's heart rate (HR4)
    • The athlete identifies their perceived exertion value on the Borg Scale
    • If the heart rate is greater than the athlete's MHR80 value or their perceived exertion value is greater than 14gen then stop the test

  • The athlete steps up and down, one foot at a time, onto the box for 2 minutes
  • After 2 minutes stop the test and record the athlete's heart rate (HR5)

Assessment

As a minimum your will require readings for HR1, HR2 and HR3 in order to calculate the athlete's VO2 max.

For an evaluation of the athlete's VO2 max enter the athlete's age, the recorded heart rate readings HR1 to HR5 (enter zero if not recorded) and then select the 'Calculate' button. MHR, MHR80 and VO2 max will be displayed.

  Athlete's Age  
HR1 b.p.m. HR2 b.p.m. HR3 b.p.m.
HR4 b.p.m. HR5 b.p.m.  
     
MHR b.p.m. MHR80 b.p.m.
  VO2 max - mL.kg.min

Sykes (1998)[1] identifies the following normative data for the Chester Test.

Male Athletes

Rating - Age Group 15 - 19 20 - 29 30 - 39 40 - 49 50+
Excellent 60+ 55+ 50+ 46+ 44+
Above average 48 - 59 44 - 54 39 - 49 37 - 45 35 - 43
Average 39 - 47 35 - 43 32 - 38 30 - 36 27 - 34
Below Average 30 - 38 28 - 34 22 - 31 24 - 29 22 - 26
Poor <30 >28 >26 <24 <22

Female Athletes

Rating - Age Group 15 - 19 20 - 29 30 - 39 40 - 49 50+
Excellent 55+ 50+ 46+ 43+ 41+
Above average 44 - 54 39 - 49 35 - 45 34 - 42 33 - 40
Average 36 - 43 32 - 38 29 - 34 27 - 33 26 - 32
Below Average 29 - 35 27 - 31 24 - 28 22 - 26 20 - 25
Poor <29 <27 <24 <22 <20

Analysis

Analysis of the result is by comparing it with the results of previous tests. It is expected that, with appropriate training between each test, the analysis would indicate an improvement.

Target Group

This test is suitable for active and sedentary athletes but not for individuals where the test would be contraindicated.

Reliability

Test reliability refers to the degree to which a test is consistent and stable in measuring what it is intended to measure. Reliability will depend upon how strict the test is conducted and the individual's level of motivation to perform the test. The following link provides a variety of factors that may influence the results and therefore the test reliability.

Validity

Test validity refers to the degree to which the test actually measures what it claims to measure and the extent to which inferences, conclusions, and decisions made on the basis of test scores are appropriate and meaningful. This test provides a means to monitor the effect of training on the athlete's physical development. For an assessment of your VO2 max see the VO2 max normative data tables.

Sykes (2004)[2] stated "The Chester step test was shown to be a valid test for the estimation of aerobic capacity within this group. The error of measurement is sufficiently small and suggests that this method is well suited to monitoring changes in aerobic capacity in rehabilitation settings."

Advantages

  • Minimal equipment required
  • Simple to set up and conduct
  • Can be conducted almost anywhere

Disadvantages

  • Assistant required to administer the test
  • Accuracy of the athlete's perceived exertion could influence the test result

Free Calculator


References

  1. SYKES, K. (1998) "The Chester Step Test: ASSIST Physiological Measurement Resources Manual Version 3." Liverpool: ASSIST Creative Resources Ltd.
  2. SYKES, K. & ROBERTS, A. (2004) The Chester step test—a simple yet effective tool for the prediction of aerobic capacity. Physiotherapy90(4), 183-188

Related References

The following references provide additional information on this topic:

  • BUCKLEY, J. P. et al. (2004) Reliability and validity of measures taken during the Chester step test to predict aerobic power and to prescribe aerobic exercise. British Journal of Sports Medicine38(2), 197-205.
  • ELLIOTT, D. et al. (2008) The effect of an active arm action on heart rate and predicted VO 2max during the Chester step test. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport11(2), 112-115.
  • KARLOH, M .et al. (2013) Chester step test: assessment of functional capacity and magnitude of cardiorespiratory response in patients with COPD and healthy subjects. Brazilian journal of physical therapy17(3), 227-235.
  • WEBB, C. et al. (2014) Estimating VO2max using a personalized step test. Measurement in Physical Education and Exercise Science18(3), 184-197.

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work then the reference for this page is:

  • MACKENZIE, B. (2016) Chester Step Test [WWW] Available from: https://www.brianmac.co.uk/chester.htm [Accessed

Related Pages

The following Sports Coach pages provide additional information on this topic: