Validation of submaximal step tests and the 6-min walk test for predicting maximal oxygen consumption in young and healthy participants

Sung Hyun Hong, Hyuk In Yang, Dong Il Kim, Tomas I. Gonzales, Soren Brage, Justin Y. Jeon

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22 Citations (Scopus)


Background: This study aimed to test the validity of three different submaximal tests (i.e., 3-min step test with 20.3-cm step box height (3MST20), 3-min step test with 30-cm step box height (3MST30), and 6-min walk test (6MWT)) in estimating maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) in young and healthy individuals. Methods: The 3MST20, 3MST30, 6MWT, as well as the cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPET) were performed in 73 participants (37 men and 36 women; mean age: 30.8 ± 9.3 years). All participants visited the clinic three times in a random order for anthropometric measurements, three submaximal tests, and the VO2max test. Multiple linear regression analyses were conducted to construct the VO2max prediction equations for each submaximal test. Results: The prediction equations developed based on multiple regression analyses for each submaximal tests were as follows: 3MST20: VO2max = 86.0 − 10.9 × sex (male = 1, female = 2) − 0.4 × age − 0.1 × weight − 0.1 × heart rate recovery at 30 s (HRR30s); 3MST30: VO2max = 84.5 − 10.2 × sex (male = 1, female = 2) − 0.4 × age − 0.1 × weight − 0.1 × HRR30s; and 6MWT: VO2max = 61.1 − 11.1 × sex (male = 1, female = 2) − 0.4 × age − 0.2 × weight − 0.2 × (distance walked·10−1). The estimated VO2max values based on formulated equations were 37.0 ± 7.9, 37.3 ± 7.6, and 36.9 ± 7.9 mL∙kg−1∙min−1 derived from the 3MST20, 3MST30, and 6MWT, respectively. These estimated VO2max values were not significantly different from the measured VO2max value, 37.3 mL∙kg−1∙min−1. The estimated VO2max based on the 3MST20, 3MST30, and 6MWT results explained 73.4%, 72.2%, and 74.4% of the variances in the measured VO2max (p < 0.001), respectively. Conclusions: The 3MST20, 3MST30, and 6MWT were valid in estimating VO2max in relatively young and healthy Asian individuals.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4858
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Dec 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This study was supported by a grant from the National R&D Program for Cancer Control, Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (HA16C0012).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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