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Wheelchair VO2 max Test

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


To monitor the athlete's level of aerobic fitness.

Required Resources

To conduct this test, you will require:

  • 400-metre track - marked every 100 metres
  • Racing Wheelchair
  • Stopwatch
  • Assistant

How to conduct the test

The test, based on work by Franklin et al. (1990)[1], comprises of seeing how far an athlete can travel in twelve minutes. The assistant should record the total distance covered to the nearest 100 metres.


The following table provides an assessment of your test result:

Metres Assessment
>2560 Excellent
2171 - 2560 Above Average
1381 - 2170 Average
1010 - 1380 Below Average
<1010 Poor

For an estimate of your VO2 max enter, the total distances covered and then select the 'Calculate' button.

Distance metres     VO2 Max mls/kg/min   Assessment

For an analysis of your VO2 max score see the VO2 max page.


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 wheelchair athletes but not for individuals where the test would be contraindicated.


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.


Test validity refers to the degree to which the test measures what it claims to measure and the extent to which inferences, conclusions, and decisions made based on 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.


  • Minimal equipment required
  • Simple to set up and conduct
  • The athlete can administer the test


  • Specialist equipment required
  • Specific facilities required
  • Assistant required to administer the test


  1. FRANKLIN, B.A. et al. (1990) Field test estimation of maximal oxygen consumption in wheelchair users. Arch Phys Med Rehabil, 71 (8), p. 574-578

Related References

The following references provide additional information on this topic:

  • LEICHT, C. A. et al. (2013) The verification phase and reliability of physiological parameters in peak testing of elite wheelchair athletes. European journal of applied physiology, 113 (2), p. 337-345
  • GOOSEY-TOLFREY, et al. (2014) Prediction of peak oxygen uptake from differentiated ratings of perceived exertion during wheelchair propulsion in trained wheelchair sportspersons. European journal of applied physiology, 114 (6), p. 1251-1258

Page Reference

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

  • MACKENZIE, B. (2007) Wheelchair VO2 max Test [WWW] Available from: [Accessed

Related Pages

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