Remember in gym class having to perform a fitness test to pass PE? You can evaluate your own fitness level similar to that right from home. Physical fitness is the “ability to carry out daily tasks easily and having enough reserve energy to respond to unexpected demands.” Using the following exercises, see how well you are performing and what areas might need improvement.


2 Minute Step in Place Test

Purpose: Tests Aerobic Endurance

Test: March in place for 2 minutes, lifting each leg so it makes a 90 degree angle in front of you. You can use the wall or a chair for balance. Count the total number of steps taken during that time. If you are below 65, that is considered cause for concern.


Arm Curl Test

Purpose: Measures Upper Body Strength and Endurance

Test: Sit up straight in a chair with a 5 lb. weight (women) or 8 lb. weight (men) in your stronger arm. Hold the weight down by your side as if you were going to pick up a suitcase. Keeping your upper arm against your body, bend your elbow and raise the weight until your palm is facing you and the weight is by your ear. Return to the starting position. Do this for a total of 30 seconds, counting each time your arm reaches the start position. Less than 11 curls with correct form is cause for concern.


30 Second Chair Stand Test

Purpose: Assesses Leg Strength and Endurance

Test: Place the back of a chair against the wall and sit up straight in the middle of the seat. Cross your wrists and hold them close to your chest. Looking straight ahead, count the number of times you completely stand up and then sit back down during the 30 seconds. Less than 8 full unassisted stands is cause for concern.


Chair Sit and Reach Test

Purpose: Measures Lower Body Flexibility

Test: Place back of chair against the wall and this time sit on the edge of the seat. Extend one leg out and with toes pointing straight up and heel on the floor. Overlay your hands one on top of the other and middle fingers aligned. Without bending your knee, reach your fingers towards your toes. Measure how close the tip of your fingers get to your toes. With toes = 0, anything past them is a positive number and anything that doesn’t reach them is negative. A minus 4 inches or more for men and a minus 2 inches or more for women is cause for concern.


Back Scratch Test

Purpose: Measures General Shoulder Range of Motion

Test: This test will require a second person. Standing up straight, reach one arm over the same shoulder and touch your fingers down the center of your back. Take your other arm and place it behind your back, palm facing outward, and try and touch the fingertips of your opposite hand. Measure the distance between your ² ngertips with just touching = 0, overlapping being positive, and the empty space between them as negative. Minus 4 inches or more for men and minus 2 inches or more for women is cause for concern


8 Foot Up-and-Go Test

Purpose: Measures Speed, Agility and Balance While Moving

Test: Place the back of a chair against the wall and measure out 8 feet from the front of the chair. You can set a water bottle, canned good, or anything that you will be able to see in that spot. Making sure the path between chair and object is clear, sit in the chair with feet flat on the ground and hands on your knees. Time how long it takes to stand up and walk as quickly around the object and return to your seated position. More than 9 seconds is cause for concern.


If you find any or all of these assessments difficult to accomplish, please talk to one of our fitness center trainers or join one of our many fitness classes.



Ky’Sha Mitchell, Certified COA Fitness Trainer