n African Journal for Physical Activity and Health Sciences (AJPHES) - Cardiorespiratory fitness testing in Setswana-speaking community-dwelling adults in Potchefstroom, South Africa

Volume 22 Number 2.1
  • ISSN : 2411-6939


Accurate measurement of cardiorespiratory fitness is important for observing changes induced by exercise interventions. To obtain accurate measurements, the testing protocol should be acceptable to participants so as to ensure a high level of compliance. The purpose of this study therefore was to compare individual and group cardiorespiratory fitness testing, and to determine whether metronome-accompanied fitness testing compared to culturally-specific music accompaniment increased the rate of completion of an eight-minute graded step test among Setswana-speaking community-dwelling adults. Twenty-seven men (41.9 ± 6.2 years) and 25 women (43.0 ± 6.3 years), all apparently healthy, were recruited for this once-off acute exercise testing of four different protocols. Participants were randomly allocated to four protocols:Individual Metronome (MTI), Individual Music (MUI), Group Metronome (MTG), and Group Music (MUG) one week apart. The sub-maximal exercise protocols were performed according to the graded eight-minute step test, a built-in function of the combined heart rate and accelerometry device (Actiheart®) for estimating VO2max. Alpha level (significance) was set at p<0.05. Testing was undertaken in a facility in the community. Acceptability was determined based on the percentage of persons completing the step test protocol. The results revealed that the largest percentage of participants (67.3%) completed the MTI eight-minute graded step test. This was followed by the MUI testing (63.4%), then the MUG testing (61.6%), and finally the MTG testing (59.7%). The participants' predicted indirect VO2 max based on the four protocols were between 28.7 ± 5.6 ml/min/kg and 27.3 ± 4.5 ml/min/kg with no significant differences (=0.730, P>0.05). Cardiorespiratory fitness testing on an individual basis accompanied by a metronome is an acceptable protocol for community-dwelling adults, and appears to be useful for intervention studies in low-resourced community settings.

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