Saturday, 13 Jul 2024

Groningen Walking Test

The Groningen Walking Test is an aerobic fitness test tailored for the elderly population, derived from the maximal multistage 20m shuttle-run test. This modification was made to accommodate the elderly participants who may experience strain on their knees and joints due to frequent sharp turns during the traditional beep test.

Purpose and Equipment Required

The purpose of the Groningen Walking Test is to assess the aerobic fitness levels of the elderly. The test requires a large flat non-slip area, a tape recorder or CD player, a cassette tape or CD of the protocol, three yellow and three orange marker cones, and a measuring tape.

Test Procedure

The participants walk counterclockwise around a rectangular course marked out with dimensions of 16 2/3 x 8 1/3 meters, equaling a perimeter of 50 m. Cones of alternating color are placed every 8 1/3 m. The walking speed is indicated by audible beeps, and between each two beeps, the participant must walk 16 2/3 m (one stage) from one cone to the next cone of the same color. The test starts at a walking speed of 4 km/hr and increases by 1 km/hr every third minute, up to a maximum of 7 km/hr. The test concludes when the participant either gives up or is unable to maintain the required pace or successfully completes the last stage.

Scoring and Advantages

The score for the Groningen Walking Test is based on the number of 16 2/3 meter stages completed, with a maximum possible score of 66. Higher scores indicate better performance. This test offers advantages for the elderly population, including its ease and suitability, as well as the smaller turning angles that better accommodate their physical capabilities.

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Target Population and Comments

The Groningen Walking Test was specifically designed for the elderly population. However, it’s worth noting that the test may not be maximal for younger and fitter participants. The test takes approximately 15 minutes and can be conducted with up to 12 participants at a time, supervised by three examiners.


  • Koen A.P. Lemmink, Han Kemper, Mathieu H.G. de Greef, and Piet Rispens P, Stevens M, Reliability of the Groningen Fitness Test for the Elderly, Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 2001, 9, 194-212
  • Léger, L.A. and Lambert, J., 1982, ‘A maximal multistage 20m shuttle run test to predict VO2max’, European Journal of Applied Physiology, Vol 49, p1-5.

The Test in Action

This test is a component of the Groningen Fitness Test for the Elderly protocol.

Similar Tests

  • 20m shuttle run beep test
  • 10m Incremental Shuttle Walk Test — for people with COPD

Related Pages

  • More about the Groningen Fitness Test for the Elderly
  • A discussion about Fitness Testing for the Elderly
  • Fitness tests involving walking
  • Comprehensive information about the beep test