Validation of two running tests as estimates of maximal aerobic power in children

  • W. van Mechelen
  • H. Hlobil
  • H. C. G. Kemper


In order to validate the “Maximal Multistage 20 Meter Shuttle Run Test” by Leger and Lambert (1982) (20-MST) as an estimate of maximal aerobic power (\(\dot V_{{\text{O}}_{\text{2}} {\text{max}}}\)) and to compare the results of this test with the results of a 6 min endurance run, 82 subjects (41 boys and 41 girls) aged 12–14 performed the 20-MST and the 6 min endurance run, and had their \(\dot V_{{\text{O}}_{\text{2}} {\text{max}}}\) directly measured during maximal treadmill running.

The 20-MST is a maximal running test starting at a running speed of 8.0 km · h−1, which is increased every minute and in which the pace is set by an audio signal. Performing the test, one runs a 20-meter course back and forth. The test result is expressed as “palier” (one palier is approximately one minute).

The mean results of the 20-MST were, for boys, 8.0 palier (± 1.7) and for girls, 6.4 palier (± 1.5). The mean results of the 6 min endurance run were for boys, 1264.4 meters (± 160.8), and for girls, 1103.9 meters (± 144.7). The mean \(\dot V_{{\text{O}}_{\text{2}} {\text{max}}}\) for boys was 53.2 ml · kg−1 · min−1 (± 5.4) and for girls, 44.1 (± 4.8) ml · kg−1 · min−1. The correlation coefficient between \(\dot V_{{\text{O}}_{\text{2}} {\text{max}}}\) and the 20-MST was found to be 0.68 (± 3.9) for boys, 0.69 (± 3.4) for girls and 0.76 (± 4.4) for both sexes, and that of \(\dot V_{{\text{O}}_{\text{2}} {\text{max}}}\) with the 6 min endurance run was 0.51 (± 4.6) for boys, 0.45 (± 4.3) for girls and 0.63 (± 5.3) for both sexes. The conclusion is that the 20-MST is a suitable tool for the evaluation of maximal aerobic power. Although the differences in validity between the 20-MST and the 6 minutes endurance run were statistically not significant (p>0.05), for reasons of practicability the 20-MST should be preferred to the 6 minutes endurance run when used in physical education classes.

Key words

Field tests \(\dot V_{{\text{O}}_{\text{2}} {\text{max}}}\) Validity Children Direct measurements 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Baumgartner TA, Jackson AS (1975) Measurment for evaluation in physical education. Houghton Mifflin Company, BostonGoogle Scholar
  2. Cooper KH (1968) A means of assessing maximal oxygen intake correlation between field en treadmill testing. JAMA 203:201–204PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Durnin JVGA, Womersley J (1974) Body fat assessed from total body density and its estimation from skinfold thickness: measurement on 481 men and women, age from 16–72 years. BrJNutr 32:77–79Google Scholar
  4. Katch FI, Pechar FI, McArdel WD, Weltman AL (1973) Relation between individual differences in steady state endurance running performance and maximum oxygen intake. Res Q 44:206–215PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Kemper HCG, Verschuur R (1980) Measurement of aerobic power in teenagers. In: Children and exercise IX, Proc. Int. Congress of Paediatric Work Physiology, Masstrand, Sweden 1978-Int Series on Sport Sci. University Park Press, Baltimore, pp 56–63Google Scholar
  6. Kemper HCG, Binkhorst RA, Verschuur R, Vissers AC (1976) Reliability of the Ergo-analyser: a method for continuous determination of oxygen uptake. J Cardiovasc Pulm Technol 4:27–30Google Scholar
  7. Kemper HCG, Verschuur R, Bovend'eerdt J (1979) The Moper Fitness Test 1: a practical approach to motor performance test in physical education. In: Proc of ICHPER, SA J Res Sport Phys Ed Recr 2:81–90Google Scholar
  8. Kemper HCG, Dekker H, Ootjers G, Post B, Snel J, Splinter P, Storm van Essen L, Verschuur R (1983) Growth and health of teenagers in the Netherlands: survey of multidisciplinary studies and comparison to recent results of a Dutch study. Int J Sport Med 4:202–214CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Léger LA, Lambert J (1982) A maximal multistage 20-meter Shuttle run test to predict \(\dot V_{{\text{O}}_{\text{2}} {\text{max}}}\). Eur J Appl Physiol 49:1–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Léger LA, Rouillard M (1983) Speed reliability of cassette and tape players. Can J Appl Sport Sci 8:47–48PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Léger LA, Seliger V, Brassard L (1980) Backward extrapolation of \(\dot V_{{\text{O}}_{\text{2}} {\text{max}}}\) values from an O2-recovery curve. Med Sci Sport Exerc 12:24–27Google Scholar
  12. Mercier D, Léger LA, Lambert J (may 20th, 1983) Relative efficiency and Backward extrapolation of \(\dot V_{{\text{O}}_{\text{2}} {\text{max}}}\) values from an O2-recovery curve in children. Abstract presented at the 1983 ACSM meeting, poster no. 11Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. van Mechelen
    • 1
  • H. Hlobil
    • 1
  • H. C. G. Kemper
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Medicine, Working Group of Exercise Physiology and Health SciencesAcademic Medical Centre, University of AmsterdamAZ AmsterdamThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations