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Test Characteristics of a 20-m Shuttle Run Test and 6-Min Walk Test in Middle-Aged and Elderly People

The purpose of this study was to clarify test characteristics of a 20-m Shuttle Run and a 6-min Walk from the perspective of age and physical fitness level.

Koya Suzuki, Department of Human Science, Tohoku Gakuin University; Shinji Takahashi, Department of Human Science, Tohoku Gakuin University, Japan

Purpose: In the Japan Fitness Test there is a 20-m shuttle run test (20-m Shuttle Run) for adults (under 65 yr) and a 6-min walk test (6-min Walk) for elderly people (over 65 yr) for measuring cardiorespiratory fitness. Therefore, we cannot assess a longitudinal change in those 64 to 65 years old using this test battery. This problem could be solved by equating both tests. However, it is necessary to first examine the application range (age and physical fitness level) of the test. The purpose of this study was to clarify test characteristics of a 20-m Shuttle Run and a 6-min Walk from the perspective of age and physical fitness level.

Methods: Participants were 43 Japanese people aged 39-76 (3 men: 65.7 ± 8.1 yr, and 40 women: 64.0 ± 6.4 yr). All participants belonged to a community club with sports (e.g., table tennis, tennis, exercise class, and golf) and culture (e.g., personal computer, foreign language, and poetry party) classes. Measurement items that were included were height, body mass, and the Japan Fitness Test (grip strength, sit-up, sit and reach, side step, standing long jump, 20-m Shuttle Run, 6-min Walk, standing on one leg with eyes opened,10-m hurdle walk). Scatterplots and correlation coefficients were used to examine relationships between age and the 20-m Shuttle Run (or 6-min Walk), and relationships between physical fitness tests (except for 20-m Shuttle Run and 6-min Walk) and the 20-m Shuttle Run (or 6-min Walk).

Results: Weak correlations were observed between age and 20-m Shuttle Run (r = -.267, ns) and 6-min Walk (r = -.362, p < .05) among all subjects. The strength of the relationships among adults under 65 (20-m Shuttle Run: r = -.356, ns, 6-min Walk: r = -.384, ns) were higher than in elderly people (r = -.012, ns, and -.106, ns, respectively). Nonlinear relationships were also not observed among these items. The 20-m Shuttle Run was moderately correlated with the 6-min Walk (r = .475, p < .05). Although a stronger association (r = .582, p < .05) was observed between the 20-m Shuttle Run and the standing long jump (muscle power) among elderly people, the 6-min Walk and the standing long jump had a weak association (r = .133, ns).

Conclusions: The findings were as follows: 1) there are weak associations with the 20-m Shuttle Run (or 6-min Walk) and age, 2) it is difficult to estimate the 6-min Walk performance from the 20-m Shuttle Run performance, 3) The 20-m Shuttle Run performance among elderly people might be influenced by muscle power. This study was supported by 2007 Research-Aid from The Japanese Society of Test and Measurement in Health and Physical Education.

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