The Arm CAFT is a simple submaximal arm ergometer test for subjects with mobility disabilities, designed to match the Canadian Aerobic Fitness Test (CAFT) in both administration and interpretation. It is here evaluated relative to direct arm ergometer measurements of peak oxygen intake in 41 men and women with mobility disabilities, aged 20-60, who were attending an “integrated” sports facility. Peak oxygen intake was predicted using the original CAFT equation, but the oxygen cost of arm ergometer test stages was substituted and predictions were scaled downward by 70/100 to allow for the lower peak aerobic power of the upper limbs. In 16 subjects who maintained cranking cadence, predictions were reliable over 1 week, with a small increase of score at the second test. Although the Arm CAFT protocol is reliable and free of bias, it has only a limited validity, and only a minority of the stronger individuals with mobility disabilities can sustain the required cranking rhythm.
Patricia E. Longmuir was formerly with Variety Village, Scarborough, ON, Canada. Roy J. Shephard is with the School of Physical and Health Education and Department of Preventive Medicine and Biostatistics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, 320 Huron St., Toronto, ON, Canada M5S 1A1, and the Health Studies Programme, Brock University, St. Catharines, ON.