Essay about Different Techniques to Test Cardiovascular Fitness

Essay about Different Techniques to Test Cardiovascular Fitness

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Throughout the semester, we have tested and evaluated several techniques used to assess cardiovascular fitness. Cardiovascular fitness is an important concept because it is a representation of the heart, lungs, and vascular system’s ability to work together in providing oxygen to the working muscle so physical work can be maintained. Physical inactivity and poor cardiovascular fitness are associated with several health concerns including cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes which can lead to higher morbidity and mortality rates.
By testing cardiovascular fitness, these health risks can be identified and addressed before they are turned into greater problems. The techniques we used this semester include aerobic field tests, semi-laboratory tests, step tests, and laboratory VO2 max tests. Each technique required a different application, and had its own list of advantages and disadvantages which I will further discuss.
The first technique, aerobic field testing, includes the Rockport 1 Mile Walking Test, the Cooper 1.5 Mile Test, and the 12 Minute Cooper Test. The Rockport Fitness Walking Test is a fairly simple and safe method used for determining VO2 max, or aerobic capacity. Aerobic capacity indicates the maximum rate that the respiratory, cardiovascular, and muscular systems can take in, transport, and use oxygen during exercise. This reflects the body’s ability to provide energy to the muscles using oxygen. The higher the number, the more aerobically fit a person is considered. To perform this test, the subject walks one mile as fast as they can and stops the stopwatch as soon as the mile is completed. The subject should take their pulse while continuing to walk, but at a slower pace and record their time and heart ra...

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... on the time spent on the test in minutes. For a “good” score on this test, the subject would take 9-15 minutes to complete. To calculate VO2 max, the formulas are as follows: men = 1.444 (T) + 14.99 and women = 1.38 (T) + 5.22. The Balke Protocol is a good test for cardiac patients because it is considered safe and performed at a moderate workload. However, this technique is fairly costly and takes a considerable amount of time to set up and conduct.
In closing, the assessment of cardiovascular fitness has proven to be an important tool in identifying various cardiovascular health risks, and each one of the previously discussed techniques has a common theme of being a predictor of those health issues. Considering the differences in the techniques, no one technique is necessarily better than the other. The test’s effectiveness mainly depends on the target subject.

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