Harvard Step Test
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (July 2013)|
The Harvard Step Test is a type of cardiac stress test for detecting and/or diagnosing cardiovascular disease. It also is a good measurement of fitness, and your ability to recover after a strenuous exercise. The more quickly your heart rate returns to resting, the better shape you are in.
It is a kind of cardiovascular endurance test. The test computes the capability to exercise continuously for extended intervals of time without tiring. The subject (person who is taking the test) steps up and down on a platform at a height of about 45 cm. at a rate of 30 steps per minute for 5 minutes or until exhaustion. Exhaustion is the point at which the subject cannot maintain the stepping rate for 15 seconds. The subject immediately sits down on completion of the test, and the heartbeats are counted for 1 to 1.5, 2 to 2.5, and 3 to 3.5 minutes.
The test was developed at Harvard University in 1943. Several modified versions of the original Harvard Step test exist; an example is the Tecumseh step test. Another modified version, the Sharkey step test, was developed in the 1970s for use by the United States Forest Service at the University of Montana in Missoula.
In popular culture
- In the 1980s, WWF professional wrestler Bob Backlund performed the Harvard step test to demonstrate his exceptional conditioning. In 1983, Sgt. Slaughter challenged Backlund to break his own fictitious Harvard step test record. When Backlund was attempting this feat, Sgt. Slaughter attacked Backlund's manager, Arnold Skaaland. Backlund stopped the test to help Skaaland and then confronted Slaughter in the ring. Slaughter was victorious, whipping Backlund repeatedly with his riding crop.
- Multi-stage fitness
- Cardiology diagnostic tests and procedures
- Physical Fitness
- Work Capacity Test
- Topendsports Description of the Harvard Step Test