Protocol - Cardiorespiratory Fitness - Exercise Test Estimate - One Mile Walk

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The participant is asked to complete a one-mile walk test as quickly as possible on a track. The participant should walk briskly at a steady pace that can be maintained for the entire mile. A technician utilizes a stopwatch to time the walk. The participant wears a heart-rate (HR) monitor that records HR continuously through the test. After the test is completed, the technician records the HR from the last 10 seconds of the test. In addition, the participant’s age, sex, and body weight are needed to complete an equation to determine maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max).

Specific Instructions

A heart-rate (HR) monitor (e.g., Polar® HR monitor) should be used because the HR that is used in the equation is taken during the last 10 seconds of the test and not after the test is completed (HR will decline rapidly after test is completed). If HR is taken after the test is completed, this will introduce error to the prediction of VO2 max.

Ideally, the HR monitor must store HR so the technician can easily access the results after the test is completed. If not, the participant can read the HR to the technician in the last 10 seconds of the test, directly from the receiver. The manufacturer’s user manual should be followed for proper calibration and usage.

The participant should complete a screening instrument such as the PAR-Q+ (Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire for Everyone, The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology) prior to the one-mile walk to make certain he or she is physically capable of performing the walk. If the person is elderly or in poor health, a physician’s examination and approval is preferable prior to the test.

Notes from the Expert Review Panel:

The protocol indicates that the participant should walk "as quickly as possible," but it would be preferable to have him or her "walk briskly at a steady pace" for the entire mile. Polar® is a trademark of Polar Electro Oy.




Track or pre-measured one-mile distance

Note: if a track is not used, the location where the timed walk takes place must be flat and pre-measured to equal 1 mile.

First, obtain the participant’s weight in pounds via a reliable scale, and also record his/her sex, and current age. Secure the HR monitor chest strap and watch to the participant. Explain that you will time the participant as he/she walks briskly for one-mile.

Once the participant is ready at the starting line, say "go" and start the stopwatch. Time the participant until s/he completes the entire 1 mile walk. Record the time in minutes and seconds and then convert to seconds [(minutes x 60) + seconds].

Insert the person’s weight, age, sex, time, and HR into the following scoring equation to determine VO2max (maximal oxygen consumption).


VO2max = 6.9652 + (0.0091 * WEIGHT) - (0.0257 * AGE) + (0.5995 * SEX1) - (0.2240 * TIME) - (0.0115 * HEART RATE)

1 Male = 1, Female = 0

Units of VO2max are liters of oxygen per minute (l/min)

Personnel and Training Required

A technician who has been trained in monitoring a walk test and in properly recording the data.

Equipment Needs

One-mile track or pre-measured flat walking area. A heart-rate (HR) monitor with chest strap and wrist receiver that stores HR data is recommended.

Requirement CategoryRequired
Major equipment No
Specialized training No
Specialized requirements for biospecimen collection No
Average time of greater than 15 minutes in an unaffected individual No
Mode of Administration

Physical Measurement


Adult, Senior


Ages 20 to 69

While the validation of the one-mile walk test was conducted in middle aged and elderly adults, the PhenX Working Group recommends that the protocol can be used with participants as young as 20 years of age and with older age groups, provided that a physician approves the test in frail or medically compromised study participants.

Selection Rationale

This is a standard assessment of aerobic capacity that has been widely utilized for the past two decades. It is low burden for healthy participants and relatively easy for a technician to administer.


Chinese, English

Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC) Cardioresp fitness 1 mi walk proto 62814-9 LOINC
Human Phenotype Ontology Cardiorespiratory arrest HP:0006543 HPO
Human Phenotype Ontology Abnormal cardiac exercise stress test HP:0500018 HPO
caDSR Form PhenX PX150101 - Cardiorespiratory Fitnessexercise Test Estimate Mile Walk 6170186 caDSR Form
Derived Variables


Process and Review

The Expert Review Panel #1 reviewed the measures in the Anthropometrics, Diabetes, Physical Activity and Physical Fitness, and Nutrition and Dietary Supplements domains.

Guidance from the ERP includes:

• Revised descriptions of measure

Back-compatible: no changes to Data Dictionary

Previous version in Toolkit archive (link)

Protocol Name from Source

Kline, G., et al. Estimation of VO2max from a one-mile track walk, gender, age, and body weight. MED SCI SPORT EXER, 1987


Kline, G., Porcari, J., Hintermeister, R., Freedson, P. S., Ward, A., McCarron, R. F., Ross, J., & Rippe, J. M. (1987). Estimation of VO2max from a one-mile track walk, gender, age, and body weight. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 19, 253-259.

General References

Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire for Everyone (PAR-Q+) © 2011. Used with permission from the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology.

Protocol ID


Export Variables
Variable Name Variable IDVariable DescriptiondbGaP Mapping
PX150101030000 Participant's age Variable Mapping
PX150101040000 Participant's heart rate during the last 10 more
minutes of the walk as shown on heart rate monitor show less
Variable Mapping
PX150101020000 Participant's sex Variable Mapping
PX150101050100 Time to complete entire 1 mile walk Variable Mapping
PX150101050200 Time to complete entire 1 mile walk N/A
PX150101010000 Participant's weight Variable Mapping
Physical Activity and Physical Fitness
Measure Name

Cardiorespiratory Fitness - Exercise Test Estimate

Release Date

May 10, 2010


A measure to estimate maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max).


Aerobic capacity (VO2 max) is the best indicator of a person’s cardiovascular fitness and aerobic endurance. Low VO2 max has been associated with cardiovascular disease.


Physical Activity and Physical Fitness, V02 max, aerobic capacity, walk

Measure Protocols
Protocol ID Protocol Name
150101 Cardiorespiratory Fitness - Exercise Test Estimate - One Mile Walk
150102 Cardiorespiratory Fitness - Exercise Test Estimate - Treadmill Test

There are no publications listed for this protocol.