Step Test

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Definition - What does Step Test mean?

A step test is a test that measures physical fitness and cardiovascular strength. During a step test, a test subject uses a step bench or makeshift platform (12 inches high), alternating up and down right/left foot patterns. The duration of a step test lasts three to five minutes, or until exhaustion occurs, and the test calculates the ratio between the pulse or beats per minute and recovery time to assess cardiovascular fitness levels. 

SureHire explains Step Test

In some cases, a medical practitioner may use a metronome, a device that follows timed beat sequences, coinciding with step test pattern variations to gauge overall heart rate. A step test should utilize an intermediate level of exertion to avoid injury or extreme fatigue, drawing on a stopwatch featuring synchronized minutes/seconds to deliver a more accurate heart rate index against physical fitness standards.


A step test operates as a blanket tool that can be administered either at a doctor's office, gym, or an individual's home, assuming the correct technique to offset the likelihood of test deviations.

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