The purpose of this study was to develop a personalized step test and a valid regression model that used non-exercise data and data collected during the step test to estimate VO2max in males and females 18 to 30 years of age. All participants (N= 80) successfully completed a step test with the starting step rate and step height being determined by the self-reported perceived functional ability (PFA) score and participant's height, respectively. All participants completed a maximal graded exercise test (GXT) to measure VO2max. Multiple linear regression analysis yielded the following equation (R = 0.90, SEE = 3.43 mL/kg/min): 45.938 + 9.253(G) - 0.140(KG) + 0.670(PFA) + 0.429(FSR) - 0.149(45sRHR) to predict VO2max (mL/kg/min) where: G is gender (0=female;1=male), KG is body mass in kg, PFA is the sum of the two PFA questions, FSR is the final step rate (step-ups/min), and 45sRHR is the recovery heart rate 45 seconds following the conclusion of the step test. Each independent variable was significant (p < 0.05) in predicting VO2max and the resulting regression equation accounted for roughly 83% (R2=0.8281) of the shared variance of measured VO2max. Based on the standardized B-weights, gender (0.606) explained the largest proportion of variance in VO2max values followed by PFA (0.315), body mass (-0.256), FSR (-0.248), and the 45sRHR (-0.238). The cross validation statistics (RPRESS = 0.88, SEEPRESS = 3.57 (mL/kg/min-1) show minimal shrinkage in the accuracy of the regression model. This study presents a relatively accurate model to predict VO2max from a submaximal step test that is convenient, easy to administer, and individualized.



College and Department

Life Sciences; Exercise Sciences



Date Submitted


Document Type





step test, VO2max, submaximal, exercise test, predict, estimate