Fitness Testing: Assessments for Health and Job Qualifications (2023)

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Fitness assessments consist of different types of tests and exercises used to determine your overall health and physical fitness level. These tests typically assess your strength, endurance, and flexibility.

Fitness tests are required for physically demanding jobs, such as police officers, firefighters, and military personnel. Fitness assessments can also help you, or your personal trainer, figure out an appropriate fitness routine and goals.

Read on for an in-depth look at the various types of fitness tests, what they’re used for, and the benefits they bring.

A variety of fitness assessments are available, allowing you to choose the most appropriate type to meet your needs and goals.

Body composition testing

Body fat tests are ideal for people who want to lose excess weight or check for any health risks. Below are some of the most common ways to test your body composition.

Type of testWhat it measures
body mass index (BMI) A body mass index (BMI) test can indicate if you have a healthy body weight, but it doesn’t tell how much body fat you have.
waist circumference measurement You can measure your waist to see if it’s more than 37 inches for men or 31.5 inches for women, or if it’s greater than your hip measurement. If so, you could be at higher risk for stroke, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
skinfold measurement A skinfold measurement test uses calipers to measure the amount of body fat present in a skinfold.
bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) This method uses a body fat scale to measure your body fat percentage by running small electrical currents through your body and testing for resistance. Higher levels of resistance indicate more body fat.

Additional body composition testing options

Most expensive, comprehensive tests done in a university, research, or medical facility are likely to provide more accurate results.

These types of tests include:

  • dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry
  • hydrostatic weighing
  • air displacement plethysmography (Bod Pod)
  • bioimpedance spectroscopy (BIS)
  • 3-D body scanners
  • multi-compartment models

Cardiorespiratory endurance testing

(Video) How to Do a Fitness Assessment | Personal Training Assessment | Forms Included!

Several types of cardiorespiratory endurance tests are available to calculate how effectively your heart and lungs deliver oxygen throughout your body while you exercise.

VO2 tests

VO2 tests show how much oxygen uptake (VO2 max) is used when you’re doing intense exercise. Higher levels of oxygen uptake indicate that your cardiorespiratory system is working effectively.

You can do VO2 tests with a clinician or exercise physiologist in a medical setting.

Submaximal tests

A qualified fitness instructor can perform submaximal tests to determine your cardiorespiratory endurance. These include the:

  • Astrand treadmill test
  • 2.4 kilometer (1.5 mile) run test
  • multistage bleep test
  • Cooper 12-minute walk-run test
  • stationary bike, rowing machine, or elliptical trainer test

Strength and endurance tests help determine which of your muscles and muscle groups have the most strength, as well as which ones are weaker and at risk of injury.

A strength test measures the maximum load a muscle group can lift with one repetition. An endurance test calculates for how long a muscle group can contract and release before you become exhausted.

Examples of endurance tests include:

  • squats
  • pushups
  • low plank holds

Flexibility testing

(Video) Health, Wellness, and Fitness Assessment

You can use flexibility tests to check for postural imbalances, range of motion, and any areas of tightness. These include:

Sit-and-reach test

To measure how flexible your lower back and hamstrings are, sit on the floor with your legs fully extended in front of you. The distance that your hands are from your feet will determine your flexibility.

Shoulder flexibility test (zipper test)

This test measures how mobile and flexible your upper arms and shoulder joints are. Reach one hand behind your neck and down along your spine. Then bring your opposite hand behind your back and up toward your top hand.

You can measure your flexibility by how close your hands are to each other.

Trunk lift test

Trunk lift testing is used to find out the flexibility of your core and low back. Lie down on your stomach with your arms alongside your body. Use your back muscles to raise your upper body as high as you can.

For work

Fitness tests can give you an accurate portrayal of your fitness level, any possible health concerns, and your suitability for a specific job.

Passing a fitness test will ensure that you’re capable of doing the job while reducing your risk for injury. It can also help establish whether you require any modifications or restrictions.

For personal fitness goals

You can use your test results to figure out which type of exercise and weight loss plans will work best for you and to set appropriate goals. You can also compare your results to people in your age and gender group to get an idea of how you compare.

As you progress, you can use your baseline results as a benchmark when you measure your results later.

For health risk prevention

You can also use your results to see whether you have any cause for concern. Certain abnormal results could indicate the possibility of a potential injury or health risk, allowing you to take preventive action or start a treatment plan.

Certain professions require you to pass a fitness assessment. This ensures that you’re in good health and will be able to adequately perform all duties of a physically challenging job.

Some less physically challenging jobs may also require that you pass a basic physical during the hiring process.

U.S. military personnel

To enter the military, you’ll need to take a fitness test to enter and another test every 6 months afterward. Tests vary between the branches. The Marine Corps is the most difficult.

These fitness tests include some of the following components:

  • pullups
  • situps or crunches
  • pushups
  • running
  • swimming
  • kneeling basketball throw

In 2020, the U.S. Army will introduce the Army Combat Fitness Test. It will consist of:

  • deadlifts
  • standing power throw
  • hand-release pushups
  • sprint-drag-carry
  • leg tucks
  • 2-mile run

Firefighter

To become a firefighter, you must pass the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT). It tests your cardiovascular endurance and muscular strength and endurance.

The CPAT includes the following components. They must be completed in under 10 minutes and 20 seconds:

  • stair climb
  • hose drag
  • equipment carry
  • ladder raise and extension
  • forcible entry
  • search
  • rescue
  • ceiling breach and pull

Police officer

To become a police officer, you must pass a physical abilities test (PAT) made up of the following components:

  • slalom run
  • stair climb
  • rescue dummy drag
  • single-handed trigger pulls
  • 1.5-mile run
  • pushups or situps
  • bench press

Lifeguard

To become a lifeguard, you’ll need to display strong swimming and water rescue skills. Requirements will vary between pool, beach, and open water lifeguards.

Lifeguards also need to be trained in CPR, first aid, and caring for neck and back injuries.

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Who’s qualified to do fitness testing?

(Video) Fitness Assessment Forms and Protocol |Testing

You can do certain types of tests on your own if you simply want the results for personal use. For more accurate and in-depth results, consult a doctor, medical researcher, or personal trainer.

Fitness tests are reliable, but keep in mind that these tests are only one marker of your overall health. You may want to look at several components of your health and fitness levels to get a more complete picture.

Fitness tests for children measure aerobic fitness, strength, and flexibility. They’re often done through the physical education program at school. Through these tests, children can see how healthy and fit they are and set goals for improvement.

The Presidential Youth Fitness Program is one of the most common fitness testing programs in schools. This program helps achieve excellence in fitness education and testing practices.

Schools can use the test results to improve their programs and ensure the instructors are teaching at the highest level, and that children are meeting or surpassing the national averages.

Testing results can also indicate the overall health of students as well as any possible health risks.

There are many benefits to fitness testing. You can use your results in several ways. Results from fitness tests may be a reliable marker of your health and suitability for a specific job.

(Video) The Department of Justice and Community Safety's health and fitness assessment for frontline roles

Keep in mind that more expensive, comprehensive tests with a professional are likely to yield the most accurate results.

You may wish to track your measurements every few weeks or months to note any improvements or changes. Talk to your doctor or a fitness professional if you notice any changes that could be cause for concern, or if you’d like to modify your routine.

FAQs

How can I pass my fitness test? ›

How to Pass the Police Fitness Test: 6 Tips and Tricks
  1. Hydrate. HIIT and running training make you sweat, which means that you're losing fluids. ...
  2. Don't Overwork Yourself. ...
  3. Don't Wait Until the Last Moment. ...
  4. Always Warm Up. ...
  5. Balance Your Workouts. ...
  6. The Correct Footwear.

What is physical fitness test answer? ›

Physical fitness is simply the body's ability to complete physical work. ​​​1 This can include cardiovascular f​​​itness, muscular strength, and muscular endurance. A physical fitness test may include a repetition maximum of strength-based exercises, like squats or bench presses, to assess muscular strength.

What are some important points to consider in fitness tests and assessment? ›

5 Things Every Fitness Assessment Should Include
  • Body Composition. Knowing your height, weight, resting heart rate, etc., and so on from the PAR-Q is fine as a first step. ...
  • Cardiovascular Performance. ...
  • Fitness Assessment By Testing Muscle Strength and Endurance. ...
  • Assessment of Joint Flexibility. ...
  • Mobility and Stability.
7 Apr 2021

What happens if you fail physical fitness test? ›

Soldiers who have failed an APFT are often put into a "remedial program" first, which includes additional physical training. An APFT failure also results in the soldier being "flagged" which make them ineligible for promotion and attendance to military training and/or schools.

What are the 5 health fitness assessments? ›

Fitness assessments are a series of tests that measures and monitors students' physical fitness level. The series of tests assess the five components of physical fitness that make up total fitness: cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, and body composition.

How important is physical fitness test * Your answer? ›

Physical Fitness Testing is a necessary activity because it will give us information on the status of the overall physical fitness. The test should be administered at least twice a year, the pre test at the beginning of the school year.

What are the 4 common fitness tests? ›

Generally, fitness is assessed in four key areas: aerobic fitness; muscular strength and endurance; flexibility; and body composition. To do your assessment, you'll need: A stopwatch or a watch that can measure seconds.

How do you prepare for a fitness assessment? ›

Avoid heavy strenuous exercise for the 24 hours prior to testing. Do not exercise at all on the day of testing to ensure you are well rested. Wear appropriate clothing for the conditions (e.g. shorts/track pants and t-shirt/singlet/sports top) and non-slip athletic footwear with laces securely fastened.

What are the 3 main reasons for fitness testing? ›

Reasons for fitness testing:
  • to identify strengths and/or weaknesses in a performance/the success of a training programme.
  • to monitor improvement.
  • to show a starting level of fitness.
  • to inform training requirements.
  • to compare against norms of the group/national averages.
  • to motivate/set goals.

What are the 3 most important components of fitness? ›

Fitness Components List
  • Body Composition — refers primarily to the distribution of muscle and fat in the body. ...
  • Muscular Strength — the ability to carry out work against a resistance.
  • Muscular Endurance — the ability to repeat a series of muscle contractions without fatiguing.

What is the basic fitness assessment? ›

A physical fitness assessment includes measures of body composition, cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular fitness, and musculoskeletal flexibility. The three common techniques for assessing body composition are hydrostatic weighing, and skinfold measurements, and anthropometric measurements.

What is an example of an assessment test? ›

Assessment test types

An IQ test for example is hardly ever left out, and a personality test and career test also are regulars in an assessment. Then there are the ability tests. These tests are focused more on skills than characteristics such as your personality and IQ.

What are the 3 types of assessment and examples? ›

Classroom assessment is generally divided into three types: assessment for learning, assessment of learning and assessment as learning.
  • Assessment for Learning (Formative Assessment) ...
  • Assessment of Learning (Summative Assessment) ...
  • Comparing Assessment for Learning and Assessment of Learning. ...
  • Assessment as Learning.

What is the easiest physical fitness test? ›

Push-Up Test

The push-up has been around for a very long time because it is simple and effective, both as an upper body exercise and as a way to measure upper body strength and fitness.

What is the best test of fitness? ›

10 Ways To Test Your Fitness
  • Resting heart rate – to assess aerobic fitness.
  • Push-ups – to assess upper-body muscular endurance.
  • Head turning – to assess neck flexibility.
  • 12-minute walk/run – to assess cardio capacity.
  • Plank – to assess core stability.
  • Loop-the-loop – to assess shoulder mobility.

What is the best test to determine overall fitness? ›

6 Fitness Tests to Gauge Your Overall Progress
  • Test 1: Dead Hang. Physical Ability: Support Grip Strength. ...
  • Test 3: Maximum Burpees in 5 Minutes. Physical Ability: Aerobic Capacity, Functional Strength. ...
  • Test 4: 300 Yard Shuttle. Physical Ability: Anaerobic Capacity. ...
  • Test 5: Broad Jump. ...
  • Test 6: Bodyweight Conditioning.

How many PT tests can you fail? ›

Failure to pass two or more consecutive record APFTs can lead to separation from the Army, although this is not always the case. Soldiers who have failed an APFT are often put into a “remedial program” first, which includes additional physical training.

How many times can I fail the PFT? ›

There is no limit on the number of retakes, according to the bulletin, though Marines must retake the tests according to their units established PFT/CFT schedule.

What should you not do before a physical fitness test? ›

You don't want to push your body right before the test. Working out heavily during the three days prior to a strenuous test may reduce your performance significantly. Three days ahead of time, take a day off. The next day, do a workout, but don't make it too strenuous.

How do you do the 3 minute step test? ›

3 Minute Step Test
  1. Start the metronome counter, and set yourself a timer for 3 minutes.
  2. Step on and off the step one foot at a time (up, up, down, down), stepping at a consistent pace to the beat of the metronome counter.
  3. Perform this for 3 minutes without stopping. ...
  4. Once the 3 minutes is up, check your pulse.
17 Oct 2020

How long does a fitness test take? ›

Among the three most common tests used: 12-minute run tests: Performed on a treadmill and compare your pre-exercise heart and respiration rates with your post-exercise heart and respiration rates.

What are the 3 skills related fitness test? ›

Testing skill-related components of fitness
  • Agility - Illinois agility test.
  • Coordination – Alternate hand wall toss test.
  • Reaction time - Ruler drop test.
  • Balance - Standing stork test.
  • Power - Vertical jump test.

What is the importance of physical fitness test essay? ›

Physical fitness can benefit you in many different ways such as reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, osteoporosis, stroke, and high blood pressure, etc. Maintaining a physically fit body will overall make you stronger, and live a healthy lifestyle.

Why is it important to test your physical fitness before? ›

Pre-exercise screening is used to identify people with medical conditions that may put them at a higher risk of experiencing a health problem during physical activity. It is a filter or 'safety net' to help decide if the potential benefits of exercise outweigh the risks for you.

What are the most common fitness questions? ›

13 Fitness Questions Every Beginner Has, Answered
  • How often should I exercise?
  • What time of day is best to work out?
  • How long should my workouts be?
  • Do I need to warm up before my workouts?
  • Should I do strength training, cardio or both?
  • Should I lift weights for strength training?
2 Jun 2022

What are the two types of fitness assessment? ›

There are two types of muscular fitness assessments: muscular-endurance tests, which assess the ability to resist fatigue; and muscular-strength tests, which assess the maximum amount force an individual can produce in a specified number of repetitions (hence the term repetition max or RM).

What is a passing candidate fitness assessment score? ›

A “Passing” Score is above 550, as this is the average for recently admitted West Point cadets. It is also scoring greater than 60 in each individual event, as this is estimated to be passing per event. Anything below is considered “at-risk”.

What questions should you answer before starting a fitness program? ›

Questions Your Trainer Should Ask Before Getting Started
  • 1) Medication and Health History. A personal trainer's most important question should be, “Are you on any medication? ...
  • 2) Mobility and Stability. ...
  • 3) Cardiac Health. ...
  • 4) Sleep Patterns. ...
  • 5) Occupation. ...
  • 6) Food Habits. ...
  • 7) Aims and Goals. ...
  • Wrapping Up.

What should I do before an assessment test? ›

Top ten tips for preparing for an assessment
  • Start early! Whatever type of assessment you have looming it is always a good idea to start early! ...
  • Remove distractions. ...
  • Plan ahead. ...
  • Make it interesting. ...
  • Organise your study space. ...
  • Study with friends. ...
  • Take regular breaks. ...
  • Don't be afraid to ask for help.
27 Mar 2017

What is the most important component of health fitness? ›

Cardiorespiratory endurance is considered the most important component of health-related fitness because the functioning of the heart and lungs is so essential to overall wellness. A person simply cannot live very long or very well without a healthy heart.

What is the most important skill-related fitness component? ›

Balance for All Life Stages

Balance measures your ability to stay upright and in position, even in the face of obstacles. This remains one of the most important skill-related components of fitness in middle and advanced age.

What are the five components of fitness that are most important to health? ›

A: The five components of physical fitness are cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility and body composition, according to Fit Day.

How do I pass my assessment test interview? ›

How to Pass Assessment Tests on Your Job Interview
  1. Visualize everything. Make sure you visualize everything in the question before answering. ...
  2. Create an answer before looking for one. ...
  3. Eliminate bad answers. ...
  4. Get an idea about the test. ...
  5. Identify keywords in questions. ...
  6. Start at the bottom. ...
  7. Take some personality tests.
11 Mar 2022

How do you answer a job assessment test? ›

How to answer assessment questions
  1. Ask the employer to give you an idea of what to expect. ...
  2. Visualize the information in the question. ...
  3. Underline the keywords in the assessment question. ...
  4. Do readings before you respond. ...
  5. Answering questions in the reverse order. ...
  6. Use the elimination process. ...
  7. Take personality tests online.
26 Apr 2021

Can you still get hired if you fail an assessment test? ›

Yes you can still get the job. If you failed the assessment, You should ask for a lower position , learn all that you can and move your way up. A lot of managers started as janitors or cashiers.

What are the most commonly used assessment methods? ›

Common types of assessment of learning include: Summative assessments. Norm-referenced assessments. Criterion-referenced assessments.
...
Assessment of learning
  • Exams.
  • Portfolios.
  • Final projects.
  • Standardized tests.
24 Sept 2021

What should I eat before a fitness test? ›

Have a meal that contains a good portion of carbohydrates (salads, pasta products, rice and beans, etc.). This will provide the body with needed energy for the test. In the morning have a very light breakfast, such as a half or whole banana, some toast, and juice.

How can I pass my test in one day? ›

These six steps will help you study for an exam in 24 hours or less.
  1. Make a list of important terms, concepts, and ideas.
  2. Look for summaries in the textbook.
  3. Make more notes as you go.
  4. Make use of mind maps, charts, and graphs.
  5. Teach a friend.
  6. Review your important terms lists.
  7. Study out of order.
  8. Take practice tests.
13 Jun 2022

What's the secret to your fitness? ›

Walk an extra 100 steps at work. Adding even a little extra exercise to your daily routine can boost your weight loss and increase your energy levels. Today take the stairs instead of the lift. Turn stairs into your secret weapon, or if walking has become too easy, increase your effort by finding hills.

How much water should I drink before a PT test? ›

Get the hydration right.

Drink two to three cups of water two to three hours before the test.

What is the best exercise to do before an exam? ›

Consider taking some kind of moderately strenuous exercise, such as a brisk walk, in the days leading up to your exam (and even all term), as regular exercise can actually increase the size of the hippocampus. Exercise also decreases pre-exam stress and anxiety, and improves the quality of sleep.

What should I eat 1 hour before an exam? ›

Here are some great kinds of food to eat before a test to improve brain health.
  • Fish for Omega-3s. Omega-3s are excellent brain food for exam preparation, and people most often talk about fatty fish as the top brain food. ...
  • Dark fruits and veggies for antioxidants. ...
  • Complex carbohydrates. ...
  • Quality protein. ...
  • Water.
25 Jun 2021

What should you do 5 minutes before a test? ›

Make a list of important details. Depending on the subject, make a quick list of important dates, characters, plot points, or formulae. Anything that you can take from memory will be a helpful review in five minutes.

How can I pass a test if I didn't study? ›

How to Pass an Exam Without Studying
  1. Reading and Understanding the Exam.
  2. Answering Difficult Questions on the Exam.
  3. Tackling Multiple Choice Questions.
  4. Choosing the Best Answer on True/False Sections.
  5. Improving Your Mental State for the Exam.

What should you do the night before a test? ›

What to do the night before an exam
  • Stick to your routine. ...
  • Get a good night's sleep. ...
  • Have a good meal. ...
  • Hydrate for the next day. ...
  • Fit in some cardio. ...
  • Get organised. ...
  • Don't stress yourself out.
6 Sept 2022

What score do you need to pass PT test? ›

The Army PT Test (APFT) score is rated by gender and age. A 300 is the best possible score one can achieve, but all you need is a passing score. The APFT standards require Soldiers to achieve at least 60 points per event in order to pass.

What is the fitness test 3-Minute Step Test for? ›

The Step Test is designed to measure a person's aerobic fitness. Participants step up and down, on and off an aerobics- type step for THREE minutes to increase heart rate and to evaluate the heart's recovery rate during the minute immediately following the step test exercise.

What are the golden rule of fitness? ›

Start exercising moderately and consciously

Start slowly and increase intensity moderately (first increase duration, then frequency and intensity), if possible with a professional (e.g. in fitness club, running meet-up group). Three to four sessions per week are recommended, 30 – 40 minutes each.

How do you stay fit in old age? ›

Activities beneficial to older adults
  1. Walking. Walking is a perfect way to start exercising. ...
  2. Senior sports or fitness classes. Exercising with others can help keep you motivated while also providing a source of fun, stress relief, and a place to meet friends.
  3. Water aerobics and water sports. ...
  4. Yoga. ...
  5. Tai chi and qi gong.

What is the 10 simple rules for fitness? ›

The 10 Golden Rules of Fitness
  • Don't Skip the Warm-Up. 1 of 11. Warm-ups are a too often overlooked part of the fitness equation. ...
  • Stay Hydrated. 2 of 11. ...
  • Fit in Cardio. 3 of 11. ...
  • Lift Weights. 4 of 11. ...
  • Change Up Your Routine. 5 of 11. ...
  • Prioritize Protein. 6 of 11. ...
  • Don't Forget the Post-Workout Stretch. 7 of 11. ...
  • Rest as Needed. 8 of 11.
29 Mar 2018

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