Reliability and validity of physical fitness field tests for adults aged 55 to 70 years

C. Ritchie*, S. G. Trost, W. Brown, C. Armit

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

77 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to examine the reliability and validity of field tests for assessing physical function in mid-aged and young-old people (55-70 y). Tests were selected that required minimal space and equipment and could be implemented in multiple field settings such as a general practitioner's office. Nineteen participants completed 2 field and 1 laboratory testing sessions. Intra-class correlations showed good reliability for the tests of upper body strength (lift and reach, R= .66), lower body strength (sit to stand, R= .80) and functional capacity (Canadian Step Test, R= .92), but not for leg power (single timed chair rise, R= .28). There was also good reliability for the balance test during 3 stances: parallel (94.7% agreement), semi-tandem (73.7%), and tandem (52.6%). Comparison of field test results with objective laboratory measures found good validity for the sit to stand (cf 1RM leg press, Pearson r= .68, p< .05), and for the step test (cf PWC140, r= -.60, p< .001), but not for the lift and reach (cf IRM bench press, r= .43, p> .05) balance (r= -.13, -.18, .23) and rate of force development tests (r= -.28). It was concluded that the lower body strength and cardiovascular function tests were appropriate for use in field settings with mid-aged and young-old adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-70
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Science and Medicine in Sport
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2005
Externally publishedYes


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