Date of Award

2002

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science Honours

Faculty

Faculty of Communications, Health and Science

First Advisor

Dr Paul Sacco

Second Advisor

Peter Hope

Abstract

The Shuttle Walking Test (SWT), with its externally paced characteristics, is commonly used as an objective measure of functional capacity. The reliability and validity of the SWT has been previously shown but only in patient populations. No studies have been carried out to investigate the validity of the SWT in healthy adult women. Therefore, the primary aim of this test was to determine if the SWT is a valid field measure of cardiorespiratory fitness in healthy adult women. A secondary aim was to identify if variables, such as age, body composition and habitual physical activity influence performance on the SWT. The distance ambulated on the SWT was compared with a standard laboratory test of cardiorespiratory capacity, peak oxygen consumption ( VO2peak) determined on an Individualised Balke Treadmill Test (IBT). Thirty-four healthy adult women with an age range of 32-65 yrs completed both exercise tests. Mean (± SD) SWT distance 624.5 (148.9) m and VO2peak 29.4 (7.8) ml.kg-1.min-1 were higher than that shown in previous studies of patient populations. Pearson product moment correlation analysis indicated a moderate but significant relationship (r = 0.58, p = 0.0005) between SWT distance and VO2peak. Variability in performance on the SWT can be explained partly by age and estimated body fat. This study is the first to investigate the validity of the SWT in healthy adult women. The correlation with VO2peak from IBT was lower than that in previous studies with patient populations. The findings suggest that performance on the SWT in healthy adult women is limited by locor.10tor ability as well as cardiorespiratory fitness. Therefore, the use of SWT as a field measure of cardiorespiratory fitness in healthy adult women has limitations. The study provides the basis for further work to modify the SWT for use in a healthy adult population.

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