Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Lifelong Assessment of Aerobic Capacity: The One-Mile Walk Test

During class, we will be performing the One-Mile Walk Test as an assessment of our individual aerobic capacity. This test is perfect because walking is something we'll be able to do for our entire lives. Additionally, this is a test you can repeat on your own. Once you learn how, you can repeat this assessment every year, every 5 years, every 10 years and so on to provide an ongoing look at your aerobic capacity. Please be aware, this assessment is appropriate for students aged 13 and older as it has not been validated with younger children.

The objective of the One-Mile Walk test is to walk one mile at a constant pace as quickly as possible. Maintaining a constant pace is vital so that you do not become tired by walking too fast at the beginning.  In order to prepare for this assessment, in classes prior to our test, we will be building our aerobic capacity by walking at a constant pace at progressively increasing distances. Through these and other aerobic endurance building exercises, you will build your aerobic capacity while becoming aware of your individual best pace for completing one mile.

The One-Mile Walk Test is NOT a competition between students. Rather, it is an opportunity for self-reflection and self-improvement.  Each student will keep a record of their individual scores and will create a goal for improvement for the post-test. We will work together to develop ways for each student to improve their individual scores through aerobic training and conditioning both in and out of the classroom.

The One-Mile Walk Test will be administered on a 400m track. Students will complete 4 complete laps plus 10 yards around the track to complete 1 mile. Times and Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) will be recorded for each completed lap so that students gain an understanding of constant pacing and fatigue. Finally a total time will be recorded. At completion of their final lap, students will also record their final heart rate (beats per minute based on a 15-second heart rate) as well as their Rate of Perceived Exertion (Borg Scale 1-20). These statistics will be used to assess overall aerobic capacity (as measured by VO2max) as well as to help set future goals.

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