to body weight or adiposity and cardiometabolic risk factors. Based on its relationship to health, as well as its reliability, validity, and feasibility, a timed or progressive shuttle run, such as the 20-meter shuttle run, is appropriate for measuring cardiorespiratory endurance in youth. If the test is to be administered in a setting with space limitations (e.g., a mobile test center for a national survey), a submaximal treadmill or cycle ergometer test should be used. The shuttle run is advantageous when there are time constraints and when cost may be a problem, such as in schools and other educational settings. Although the evidence for a relationship between distance/timed runs and health is insufficient at this time, this type of test is valid and reliable and could be an alternative in schools and other educational settings.

Until more data are collected with which to establish criterion-referenced cut-points (cutoff scores), interim cut-points corresponding to the lowest 20th percentile of the distribution of cardiorespiratory endurance should be used to interpret results of all cardiorespiratory endurance tests and to determine whether individuals are at risk of negative health outcomes.

Cardiorespiratory endurance has been recognized as a key component of physical fitness throughout the history of the field. This chapter presents the committee’s review of the scientific literature that explores the relationship between specific field tests of cardiorespiratory endurance and health outcomes in youth. The committee’s recommendations for the selection of fitness tests are based primarily on an extensive review of the literature provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) described in Chapter 3. In making its recommendations, the committee considered not only the evidence for a relationship to health, but also the scientific integrity (reliability and validity) of putative health-related tests, as well as the administrative feasibility of implementing these tests. After presenting these results, the chapter offers guidance for setting interim cut-points (cutoff scores) for the selected tests. The final section presents conclusions. Recommendations regarding specific tests for measuring cardiorespiratory endurance for national surveys and in schools and other educational settings are found in Chapters 8 and 9, respectively. Future research needs are addressed in Chapter 10.


Cardiorespiratory endurance is the ability to perform large-muscle, whole-body exercise at moderate to high intensities for extended periods of time (Saltin, 1973). Numerous terms have been used to denote this com-

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