Modifications of the Rockport Fitness Walking Test.

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Mcconnell, Freddie
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Middle Tennessee State University
The Rockport Walk Fitness Test (RWFT) is a one-mile maximally-paced walk used to estimate aerobic fitness. Since its development, this test has been subject to few modifications. Previous research (George et al., 1998) has indicated that participants experience leg pain when asked to walk a mile at a maximal pace. The aim of this investigation was to determine which modification of the RFWT (1-mile, 1/2 mile, or 1/4 mile) using a self-selected brisk pace produced the most accurate estimate of maximal oxygen consumption (V.O2max). In addition, the tests were evaluated to determine if participants maintained a steady walking pace. Aerobically untrained college-age females (N = 33) performed a graded maximal treadmill test to determine V.O 2max. On separate days, but within 10 days of the treadmill test, participants randomly performed one of three walk tests (1-mile,1/2-mile, or 1/4-mile). Estimated V.O2max values were calculated using the Kline, Porcari, Hintermeister, et al.(1987) age-generalized female equation. Heart rate values were recorded using PolarRTM heart rate monitors. Results indicated that the 1/4-mile (r = .67) and the 1-mile walk (r = .68) V.O2max estimates were most strongly related to measured V.O2max. Results also revealed that participants did not maintain a steady walking pace in any of the three tests. These findings indicate that the 1/4-mile and 1-mile versions of the RFWT using a self selected brisk, walking pace do produce acceptable estimations of V.O 2max in college-age females. Further, administrators of this field test must stress the importance of maintaining a steady pace throughout the entire test.
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