Sunday, 21 Jul 2024

Sharkey / Forestry Step Test

The Sharkey / Forestry Step Test, developed by B.J. Sharkey in 1979, is a simple and cost-effective way to assess aerobic fitness, particularly for US Forestry workers. This test involves stepping at a rate of 22.5 steps per minute for five minutes. It requires minimal equipment and can be performed both indoors and outdoors.

Purpose

The main objective of the Sharkey / Forestry Step Test is to evaluate aerobic fitness using a straightforward test and minimal equipment. By conducting this test, individuals can gain insights into their current aerobic capacity.

Equipment Required

To perform the Sharkey / Forestry Step Test, you will need the following equipment:

  • Step or platform with a height of 40 cm (15.75 inches) for males and 33 cm (13 inches) for females
  • Stopwatch
  • Metronome or cadence tape
  • Body weight scales

Pre-Test Procedures

Before conducting the test, it is essential to follow proper pre-test procedures:

  1. Explain the test procedures to the subject.
  2. Screen for any health risks and obtain informed consent.
  3. Prepare necessary forms and record basic information such as age, height, body weight, gender, and test conditions.
  4. Check the step height and set the metronome accordingly.

Test Procedure

The Sharkey / Forestry Step Test involves the following steps:

  1. Measure the subject’s body weight while wearing the clothing they intend to use for the test.
  2. Set the metronome to a rate of 90 beats per minute, indicating a stepping rate of 22.5 steps per minute.
  3. The subject begins stepping up and down on the step, leading with either leg. Males should use a higher step compared to females.
  4. After five minutes of stepping, the subject sits down, and their heart rate is measured. Count the number of heartbeats between 15 seconds and 30 seconds post-exercise.
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Scoring and Interpretation

Scoring for the Sharkey / Forestry Step Test involves calculating the subject’s maximal aerobic power using age, post-exercise heart rate, and body weight. This score can then be compared to a table of norms to determine an individual’s aerobic fitness level.

Advantages and Disadvantages

The Sharkey / Forestry Step Test offers several advantages, including its simplicity and affordability. Since it requires minimal equipment, it can be conducted in various settings. Additionally, individuals can even administer this test themselves.

However, it is worth noting that some participants may struggle with maintaining the required stepping rate if they lack the necessary fitness or coordination.

About the Developer

The Sharkey / Forestry Step Test was developed by Dr. Brian J. Sharkey, a physiologist at the Forest Service’s Missoula Technology and Development Center in Montana. Dr. Sharkey has extensive expertise in the field and has also contributed to the development of the Work Capacity or “Pack” Test for firefighters.

Reference

  • Sharkey, B.J. (1979). Physiology of Fitness: Prescribing Exercise for Fitness Weight Control and Health. Human Kinetics Publishers.

FAQs

Q: Can I perform the Sharkey / Forestry Step Test on my own?
A: Yes, this test can be self-administered.

Q: What is the purpose of the Sharkey / Forestry Step Test?
A: The main purpose of this test is to evaluate aerobic fitness using a simple and cost-effective method.

Q: What equipment do I need to conduct the Sharkey / Forestry Step Test?
A: You will need a step or platform, a stopwatch, a metronome or cadence tape, and body weight scales.

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Q: How is the Sharkey / Forestry Step Test scored?
A: Scoring involves calculating maximal aerobic power based on age, post-exercise heart rate, and body weight, which can then be compared to normative tables.

Conclusion

The Sharkey / Forestry Step Test is a valuable tool for assessing aerobic fitness, particularly for US Forestry workers. Its simplicity, cost-effectiveness, and versatility make it a practical choice for both individuals and organizations. By following the proper procedures and understanding the scoring system, individuals can gain valuable insights into their aerobic capacity. To learn more about the Sharkey / Forestry Step Test and explore other fitness resources, visit Auralpressure.