Health-related fitness test battery for adults: aspects of reliability

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1996 Apr;77(4):399-405. doi: 10.1016/s0003-9993(96)90092-1.


Objective: In two studies, the reliability of 3 balance, 2 flexibility, and 4 muscular strength tests proposed as test items were investigated in a health-related fitness (HRF) test battery for adults.

Design: Methodological study.

Setting: A health promotion research institute.

Subjects: In study A, volunteers (n=42) from two worksites participated. In study B, a population sample (n=510) of 37-to 57-year-old men and women was selected.

Main outcome measures: Intraclass correlation coefficient of repeated measures was used to assess inter-rater reliability. The degree of measurement error was expressed as the standard error of measurement. The mean difference with 95% confidence intervals between the testing days or test trials was used to assess test-retest or trial-to-trial reproducibility. The coefficient of variation(CV=[SD/mean] x 100%) from day to day was also calculated.

Results: The following tests appeared to provide acceptable reliability as methods for field assessment of HRF: standing on one leg with eyes open for balance, side-bending of the trunk for spinal flexibility, modified push-ups for upper body muscular function, and jump and reach and one leg squat for leg muscular function.

Conclusions: This reliability assessment provided useful information on the characteristics of potential test items in a HRF test battery for adults and on the limitations of its practical use. Testers must be properly trained to ensure reliable assessment of HRF of adults.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Physical Fitness*
  • Postural Balance
  • Reproducibility of Results