Chester Step Test

The Chester Step Test (CST) is a submaximal, multistage aerobic capacity test. The test requires a low step, heart rate monitor, instructional CD with stepping beat rhythms, rating of perceived exertion (RPE) chart and CST software calculator. The accompanying manual includes graphical datasheets and fitness rating norms geared to age and gender.

Providing there are no medical contraindications to moderately vigorous exercise or stair-stepping, the subject is required to step onto and off a low step at a rate set by the beat on the accompanying CD. Every 2 min an instruction is given asking the tester to record the subject’s exercise heart rate and RPE—and the stepping rate is then increased slightly. The test continues in this progressive manner until the subject reaches 80% of their maximum heart rate (HRMax) and/or reports a moderately vigorous level of exertion (RPE = 14). Aerobic capacity (or VO2Max) is then calculated by entering the exercise heart rates into the bespoke CST software (or by using the appropriate CST graphical datasheet).

The test lasts for a maximum of 10 min.

CST has been used globally for over two decades in a wide variety of workplace settings including the fire, police, prison, ambulance and military services, oil, gas and offshore wind farm industries and other scenarios where an aerobic capacity assessment is required.

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