Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Plowman, Sharon A.

Degree Name

M.S. Ed. (Master of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Physical Education


Walking--Testing; Older women--Health and hygiene; Physical fitness for women


The purpose of this study was threefold: 1) to determine the reliability of the Rockport Fitness Walking Test (RFWT) ; 2) to cross-validate the RFWT; and 3) to determine the sensitivity of the RFWT to training in females aged 65 years and older. Both generalized and sex-specific equations were utilized to estimate V̇O2 max in l·min⁻¹ and ml·kg⁻¹·min⁻¹ from the time of a one-mile walk, heart rate at the end of the one-mile walk, weight, and age. The one-mile walk was completed by 16 subjects on four different occasions, three prior to training (Wl, W2, W3) and one after training (W4). Reliability improved from .63 for the first three trials (Wl, W2, W3) to .96 for the last two trials (W2, W3). The means of all three tests (Wl x̅ = 18.91 min ± 3.89, W2 x̅ = 17.00 min ± 2.14, W3 x̅ = 16.73 min ± 2.12) were significantly different (F(15,32) = 11.69, P<.05), but the means of the last two trials (W2, W3) were not significantly different (F(15,16) = 2.73, P>.05). Cross-validation was determined by correlating the estimated V02 max results from the one-mile test with the measured V̇O2 max results determined on the treadmill. The results indicated r = .68, SEE = .15 l·min⁻¹, Error = .22 l·min⁻¹ and r = .78, SEE = 2.05 ml·kg⁻¹·min⁻¹ , Error = 4.03 ml·kg⁻¹·min⁻¹ for the female equations and r = .67, SEE = .15 l·min⁻¹, Error = ml·kg⁻¹·min⁻¹ and Error = 4.71 ml·kg⁻¹·min⁻¹ for the generalized equations. No significant difference was found between the means of the estimated V̇O2 max and measured V̇O2 max (P>.05), indicating there was no average under- or overestimation of V̇O2 max. Twelve experimental subjects (E) (x̅ age = 70.75 ± 4.05 yr) participated in a 20-week low-impact aerobics program while four subjects (C) (x̅ age = 65.5 ± 1.0 yr) served as controls. There were no significant differences in gain scores in estimated (x̅ V̇O2 pre = 1.34 l·min⁻¹ ± .32, x V̇O2 post = 1.38 l·min⁻¹ ± .34) or measured (x̅ V̇O2 pre = 1.35 l·min⁻¹ ± .21, x V02 post = 1.37 l·min⁻¹ ± .21) V̇O2 max values from pre- to post-test. Therefore, the RFWT was sensitive to the lack of training change in exercising individuals . It was concluded that the RFWT is a reliable, valid and sensitive cardiovascular-respiratory field test for females 65 years and older for screening and monitoring the effectiveness of a training program.


Includes bibliographical references (pages 31-34 and 42-44)


vi, 49 pages




Northern Illinois University

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