Validation of Cardiovascular Fitness Field Tests for Adults with Mental Retardation

in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly
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This study evaluated the concurrent validity of the 300-yard and the 1.5-mile run with a group of mildly mentally retarded (MR) adults. The subjects, 15 healthy MR adults (M age = 29.5 + 5.6 yrs, M IQ = 60), underwent a maximal treadmill test utilizing a walking protocol, with heart rate and oxygen consumption data collected every minute. They also completed a 300-yard and a 1.5-mile run. The order of testing was counterbalanced. The results indicated that these subjects exhibited very poor cardiovascular fitness levels, with a mean V̇O2max of 28.1 ml•kg-1•min-1 and mean run times of 98.9 sec and 21.1 min for the 300-yard and the 1.5-mile runs, respectively. The correlation between V̇O2max and the 1.5-mile run was –.88, and the correlation for the 300-yard run and V̇O2max was –.71. However, partial correlations indicated that when the effect of height and weight were held constant, only the correlation between V̇O2max and the 1.5-mile run remained significant whereas that between V̇O2max and the 300-yard run dropped. Consequently, the 1.5-mile run appears to be a valid indicator of cardiovascular fitness for these adults with MR, but the 300 yard run is not.

Request reprints from Dr. Garth Tymeson, PHED, Anderson Hall, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL 60115.

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