Home Fitness Tests


Aerobic endurance is one of the most important components of physical fitness. The aerobic step test provides a simple test requiring only limited equipment and space. The test is based on the principle that as you get fitter, your heart rate for any given exercise intensity will be reduced.

This is one of the 10 tests included in the Home Fitness Test Manual. See the list of other Fitness Tests you can do at home.

Equipment Needed (see more about equipment)

  • step or bench - about 12 inches high
  • timer - a clock with a second hand

Step Test

Find a bench or step that is as close to 12 inches (30cm) high as you can find. A box or small chair can also be used if it is stable. Record the height of the step, and try and use the same apparatus for any retesting.

The technique involves stepping up onto the step with one foot and then the other. Step down with the same leading foot first and followed by the other. Repeat this sequence starting with the same foot each time. Practice stepping at the rhythm of a four second cycle (one movement every second). You may also wish to practice finding your heart beat for the heart rate measurement at the end of the test.

Once you have practiced the technique and rhythm, start the test, keeping the rhythm steady for a full three minutes. At the end of three minutes, sit down immediately and measure your heart rate for the next minute by taking your pulse and counting the total number of beats.

step test


Your score is your heart rate for the minute after the stepping. A lower heart rate indicates a better fitness level.

Endurance fitness can be improved by performing exercises, particularly whole body exercises such as running, swimming and cycling that elevate your heart rate for at least 30 minutes. Such exercises should be performed at least three times a week

Data Recording Sheet

data recording sheet

a page for recording all of your results

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Rating Scale

rating scale

a unique rating scale for use with the home fitness test.

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Why Test?

Regular testing is important to measure fitness levels and monitor changes in fitness.

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What to Test

There are a large number of fitness tests, so it is important to select the most apporopriate test for your sport or fitness level.

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How to Test

It is important to follow standard procedures. You need a guide.

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