Predicting maximal oxygen uptake from a 3-minute progressive knee-ups and step test

Yu Chun Chung, C. Y. Huang, Huey June Wu, Nai Wen Kan, Chin Shan Ho, Chi Chang Huang, Hung Ting Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Background. Cardiorespiratory fitness assessment is crucial for diagnosing health risks and assessing interventions. Direct measurement of maximum oxygen uptake (V O2 max) yields more objective and accurate results, but it is practical only in a laboratory setting. We therefore investigated whether a 3-min progressive knee-up and step (3MPKS) test can be used to estimate peak oxygen uptake in these settings. Method. The data of 166 healthy adult participants were analyzed. We conducted a V O2 max test and a subsequent 3MPKS exercise test, in a balanced order, a week later. In amultivariate regression model, sex; age; relative V O2 max; bodymass index (BMI); body fat percentage (BF); resting heart rate (HR0); and heart rates at the beginning as well as at the first, second, third, and fourth minutes (denoted by HR0, HR1, HR2, HR3, and HR4, respectively) during a step test were used as predictors. Moreover, R2 and standard error of estimate (SEE) were used to evaluate the accuracy of various body composition models in predicting V O2max. Results. The predicted and actual V O2 max values were significantly correlated (BF% model: R2 = 0.624, SEE = 4.982; BMI model: R2 = 0.567, SEE = 5.153). The BF% model yielded more accurate predictions, and the model predictors were sex, age, BF%, HR0, 1HR3HR0, and 1HR3HR4. Conclusion. In our study, involving Taiwanese adults, we constructed and verified a model to predict V O2 max, which indicates cardiorespiratory fitness. This model had the predictors sex, age, body composition, and heart rate changes during a step test. Our 3MPKS test has the potential to be widely used in epidemiological research to measure V O2 max and other health-related parameters.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Mar 15 2021


  • 3-min Harvard step test
  • Aerobic ability
  • Cardiovascular function
  • Field tests

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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