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KC Teh, AR Aziz
Correspondence: Dr K C Teh
Objective The purpose of this study was to develop a stair-climb test of cardiorespiratory fitness for adult Singaporeans, particularly those staying in Singapore Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats.
Method 103 subjects [56 males, of mean (SD) age 44.8 (13.9) years and Body Mass Index, or BMI, 23.3 (3.2); and 47 females, of age 43.2 (12.9) years and BMI 21.9 (2.8)] were first assessed for their cardiorespiratory fitness, measured using maximal oxygen uptake (or VO2max) on a treadmill, before undergoing a stair-climb test up to the 12th storey (11 floors) of a typical HDB flat (180 steps, vertical height 27.0 metres).
Results The mean (SD) time taken for the climb (CT) and heart rate at the end of the climb (HRend) averaged 111.3 (16) seconds and 154.4 (13.4) beats.min-1 respectively for males, and 121.0 (18.1) seconds and 164.6 (15.7) beats.min-1 respectively for females. Regression equations were developed to predict VO2max from age (years), BMI, CT (seconds), HRend (beats.min-1): For males: VO2max (ml.kg-1.min-1) = 133 - 0.273 (Age) - 0.672 (BMI) - 0.236 (CT) - 0.232 (HRend). For females: VO2max (ml.kg-1.min-1) = 66.69 - 0.135 (Age) - 0.249 (BMI) - 0.128 (CT) - 0.021 (HRend). Validation of the regression equations conducted on a different sample consisting of 18 subjects (11 male and 7 female) showed significant correlations between the predicted and directly measured VO2max (males, r = 0.81 and females, r = 0.90; p < 0.01). There were no significant differences between the means of predicted and directly measured VO2max.
Conclusion A stair-climb test using HDB stairs was developed which was able to estimate cardiorespiratory fitness with reasonable accuracy.
Keywords: stair-climb test, cardiorespiratory fitness, VO2max, Singapore
Singapore Med J 2000; 41(12): 588-594