This study assessed the relative and absolute reliability of the five tests in the AAHPERD functional fitness assessment for men and women over 60 years of age. Twenty-eight apparently healthy subjects, ages 60 to 81, were tested three times during a 2-week period on each item in the test battery: sit and reach flexibility, body agility, coordination, strength/endurance, and half-mile walk. Relative reliability was assessed for both sexes via intraclass correlation coefficient. Absolute reliability was evaluated using repeated measures ANOVA. Intraclass correlations among sessions for men and women, respectively, were 0.97 and 0.98 for flexibility, 0.98 and 0.96 for body agility, 0.89 and 0.71 for coordination, 0.94 and 0.81 for strength/endurance, and 0.99 and 0.96 for the walk. Repeated measures ANOVAs with Tukey’s post hoc tests revealed improved performance from repeated practice sessions in all tests, although the improvement was not consistent between tests. Although the tests have high intraclass correlations, researchers using the test battery should include a random control group to assess the effects of training.
The authors are with the Exercise Physiology Laboratory, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 4505 Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas, NV 89154-3016.