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Enhancing the efficacy of the 20 m multistage shuttle run test


Objective: Maximal oxygen uptake (Vo2max) of 44 ml kg−1 min−1 is an accepted criterion (Vo2CR) below which health and fitness for young male adults may be compromised. New algorithms validated for Vo2CR screening using the 20 m multistage shuttle run test (20mMST) were developed.

Methods: Vo2max was assessed in 110 males using a stationary gas analyser in a treadmill test (TT) and in 40 of these subjects using a portable gas analyser in the 20mMST. Vo2max predicted from the 20mMST in 70 subjects was used for cross validation. Two equations predicting Vo2max during 20mMST (EQMST) and TT (EQTT) were developed.

Results: Significant energy cost variance (ECV) was detected between TT and 20mMST (p<0.001), correlated significantly with subject height, and was a significant predictor of Vo2max differences between TT and 20mMST. The r2 of EQMST was 0.92 (p<0.001). Predicted Vo2max values from EQMST correlated with directly measured 20mMST Vo2max at r = 0.96 (p<0.001). ANOVA detected no mean difference (p>0.05) between predicted and measured values. Prevalence of low fitness based on Vo2CR was 0.37. McNemar χ2 indicated significant differences in sensitivity (p<0.001) and specificity (p<0.05) between the original 20mMST equation (EQLÉG) and EQTT, regarding Vo2CR screening. Cohen’s κ demonstrated higher agreement with TT Vo2max for EQTT (p<0.001) than EQLÉG (p<0.05). TT Vo2max correlated with the end result of both EQLÉG and EQTT at r = 0.75 (p<0.001). Unlike EQTT (p>0.05), mean predicted Vo2max from EQLÉG was significantly higher compared to TT Vo2max (p<0.001).

Conclusion: These algorithms increase the efficacy of 20mMST to accurately evaluate aspects of health and fitness.

  • ANOVA, analysis of variance
  • CF, cardiorespiratory fitness
  • CI, confidence interval
  • CV, coefficient of variation
  • EC, energy cost
  • GEE, generalised estimating equations
  • GLM, general linear model
  • LIMAG, limits of agreement analysis
  • MAS, maximal attained speed
  • ROC, receiver operating characteristics
  • SD, standard deviation
  • TT, treadmill test
  • 20mMST, 20 m multistage shuttle run test
  • energy cost
  • field testing
  • receiver operating characteristics
  • screening
  • Vo2max

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