Doesn’t getting your personal level of health and fitness require tons of lengthy tests? Not if you just want to get a pretty good idea.
Your Fitness Tested In 5 Seconds
The last time I had my fitness and health measured, I had to visit my doctor before work to drop in a blood sample, and on another day do a stress ECG and get my aerobic capacity measured via a VO2 max test.
All this takes time, lots of time. Not to mention that visiting my doctor at 8 am in fasted state is not very high on my list of fun things to do.
To at least give you an idea where you are standing, a recent discovery by Swedish researchers can help. They found that your maximum step-up height is pretty closely related to a number of health factors: general fitness, aerobic capacity, waist circumference and body weight.
How To Test It
The Swedes built a €1,500 machine to measure this as accurately as possible, but you won’t need to. All you need to have is a solid object to step up on:
- If you are male, you should be able to step up on an object at least 35 cm (13 1/3 inches) high
- If you are a woman, it should be 32 cm (12 1/2 inches)
- If you can’t manage at least 24 cm (9 1/2 inches) it’s time to do something about your health
This just screams to be tried out at home, so let me say it: do it safely. It’ll be detrimental to your health and fitness if you force yourself up on a 35 cm stool only to fall down.
Caveat Emptor, Of Course!
Also remember that this won’t replace a real examination, so don’t go postponing one because of this. Stepping up on a chair can’t measure your blood values or illnesses limiting your ability. That still takes seeing your doctor.
It also doesn’t really take your body height into account. My girlfriend is 4’11” and 32 cm are harder for her than for a woman of average height (5’4″).
How Did You Do?
That being said, she and I managed it with one of our kitchen chairs (45 cm), so I suppose we aren’t doing too badly. How did you do?
Picture courtesy of “le vent le cri“.