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The current status of the Canadian home fitness test.
  1. R. J. Shephard


    The current status of the Canadian Home Fitness Test is reviewed. This simple procedure was originally conceived for the mass testing of fitness levels and for home use as a motivational tool in exercise programmes. The test is carried out on a double 8 inch step (such as a domestic staircase) at an age and sex-specific rhythm set by a long-playing record. Fitness is assessed from a combination of test-duration and the radial or carotid pulse count immediately following exercise. Use of the procedure by upwards of 500,000 Canadians is reviewed in relaltion to its safety, validity and practicality. To date, there have been no serious complications. In home use, there is inevitably limited precision, although with practice subjects can learn to count their pulse rate and step in time to the music; further, the test seems well received, achieving its prime objective of stimulating an interest in physical activity and endurance fitness. When the procedure is carried out by a paramedical worker, with e.c.g. recording of the exercise heart rate, it provides at least as good an estimate of maximum oxygen intake as other sub-maximal procedure; the main area of current controversy is interpretation of abnormal stress e.c.g. records, and it is suggested this problem could be resolved by the appropriate training and certification of interested family physicans and paramedical workers.

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