Have you ever wondered how fit you are compared to your age group? Prior to starting an exercise program, therapists will often perform a baseline testing to assess your physical fitness. Today we will explore a simple and practical assessment tool for evaluating the physical functions for healthy individuals over the age of 60.
The test is called The Senior Fitness Test. It was developed by Rikli and Jones. The Senior Fitness Test focuses on assessing different fitness components such as strength, endurance, flexibility, agility, and balance. It is also a great tool used to track progress over the course of a training program.
The test is consisted of 6 different functional tests
1) 30-Second Chair Stand
· This test measures the number of sit to stand completed within 30 seconds. It is a test measuring lower body strength.
2) 30-Second Arm Curl
· This test measures the number of bicep curls completed within 30 seconds holding a weight of 5lbs for women, 8lbs for men. This test is for assessing upper body strength.
3) 2-Minute Step Test (Alternative: 6-minute walk)
· This test assesses aerobic endurance, measuring the number of full steps completed within 2 minutes.
4) The Chair Sit and Reach Test
· This test is measured in distance (cm) and it reflects lower body flexibility.
5) The Back Scratch Test
· This test measures the number of inches between the middle finger when older adult reaches one hand over the shoulder and the other hand up the back. This test reflects upper body flexibility.
6) 8-Foot Time Up and Go Test
· This test assesses agility and dynamic balance. It measures the number of seconds for older adults to stand up, walk 8 feet, turn around, and return to seated position.
Each test has its own chart for comparison purposes and is scored individually. Although the instructions of the Senior Fitness Test can be easily found online, individuals who administer the test should ensure that they have the appropriate training and knowledge.