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The Senior Fitness Test

Why Test Seniors?
 
Fitness is very important for those in their senior years. Older adults need to have adequate strength, flexibility, and endurance to accomplish everyday tasks. Assessing these components of fitness can detect weaknesses which can be treated before causing serious functional limitations.
 
The Senior Fitness Test
 
The Senior Fitness Test was developed as part of the LifeSpan Wellness Program at Fullerton University, by Dr. Roberta Rikli and Dr. Jessie Jones. As such, the test is sometimes known as the Fulleton Functional Test. It is a simple, easy-to-use battery of test items that assess the functional fitness of older adults. The test describes easy to understand and effective tests to measure aerobic fitness, strength and flexibility using minimal and inexpensive equipment.
 
What Tests are included?
 
The individual fitness test items involve common activities such as getting up from a chair, walking, lifting, bending, and stretching. The tests were developed to be safe and enjoyable for older adults, while still meeting scientific standards for reliability and validity. Here are lists of the tests included:
 
          Chair Stand Test — testing lower body strength
          Arm Curl Test — testing upper body strength
          Chair Sit and Reach Test — lower body flexibility test
          Back Scratch Test — upper body flexibility test
          8-Foot Up and Go Test — agility test
          Walk Test (6 minutes) or Step in Place Test (2 minutes) — The walk test is used to assess aerobic fitness unless the person uses orthopedic devices when walking or has difficulty balancing, in which case they do the step in place test.
 
References:
 
Rikli R.E., Jones C.J.: The development and validation of a functional fitness test for community-residimg older adults. J of Aging and Physical Activity, 1999a; 7: 129–161
Rikli R.E., Jones C.J.: Functional fitness normative scores for community-residing older adults, ages 60–94. J of Aging and Physical Activity, 1999b; 7: 162–181
Jones C. Jessie, Rikli R.: Senior Fitness Test Manual. J Aging & Physical Activity, 2002: 10; 1, 110.
Jones C.J., Rikli R.E., Measuring functional fitness of older adults, The Journal on Active Aging, March April 2002, pp. 24–30.
Anna Różańska-Kirschke, Piotr Kocur, Małgorzata Wilk, Piotr Dylewicz, The Fullerton Fitness Test as an index of fitness in the elderly (Test Fullerton jako miernik sprawności fizycznej osób starszych), Medical Rehabilitation 2006; 10(2): 9-16.