Protocol - Cardiorespiratory Fitness - Non-Exercise Test Estimate

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Cardiorespiratory fitness is estimated from a non-exercise test model that includes gender, age, body mass index, resting heart rate, and self-reported physical activity. Capture this information via standard methods, and add the values to Jurca and colleagues’ (2005) worksheet. Follow the equation in the worksheet to determine the maximal metabolic equivalent level.

Specific Instructions:

There may be inappropriate expectations of the precision of the estimate of maximal capacity. The measure may be used to estimate the relative level of cardiorespiratory fitness of an individual within a group but may not be an accurate predictor of an individual’s capacity. Specifically, research has shown that this non-exercise test predicts a person’s cardiorespiratory fitness within 1.5-2.0 METs of the true fitness score.


Measure and record the following information about the participant.

  • Age (years)
  • Height (centimeters)
  • Weight (kilograms)
  • Body Mass Index (BMI) in kilograms per meter2 - BMI = (weight in lbs X 703)/(height in inches)2 or (weight in kilograms)/(height in meters)2
  • Resting heart rate (HR) - measured HR from person’s wrist pulse after 5 minutes of rest in the supine position

Administer the questions from the five-category physical activity scale, found in Step 1 of the worksheet of Jurca et al. (2005). Add age, height, weight, and so forth to the equation in Step 2 of the worksheet to calculate the estimated MET value.

Jurca, R., Jackson, A. S., LaMonte, M. J., Morrow, J. R., Blair, S. N., Wareham, N. J., Haskell, W. L., van Mechelen, W., Church, T. S., Jakicic, J. M., & Laukkanen, R. (2005). Assessing cardiorespiratory fitness without performing exercise testing. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 29(3), 185-193.

Protocol Name from Source:


Publicly available

Personnel and Training Required

This protocol requires a technician who is trained to collect anthropometric measures such as height (centimeters), weight (kilograms), and resting heart rate.

Equipment Needs

Digital scale, stadiometer

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 Examination

Life Stage:

Adult, Senior


Ages 18 or older

Selection Rationale

This method of determining maximal metabolic equivalent level is reportedly reliable in three large studies of different age groups. The measurements are frequently obtained in health care settings. After the values are added to the model, the results may be used as a measure of aerobic capacity (a predictor of chronic disease morbidity) and to estimate a person’s disease prognosis.



Common Data Elements (CDE) Person Cardiorespiratory Fitness Non-Exercise Test Estimate Level 3107311 CDE Browser
Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC) Cardioresp non-exercise proto 62847-9 LOINC
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:

  • No significant changes

Back-compatible: no changes to Data Dictionary

Previous version in Toolkit archive (link)


Jurca, R., Jackson, A. S., LaMonte, M. J., Morrow J. R., Blair, S. N., Wareham, N. J., . . . Laukkanen, R. (2005). Assessing cardiorespiratory fitness without performing exercise testing. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 29(3), 185-193.

General References

Wei, M., Kampert, J. B., Barlow, C. E., Nichaman, M. Z., Gibbons, L. W., Paffenbarger, R. S., & Blair, S. N. (1999). Relationship between low cardiorespiratory fitness and mortality in normal-weight, overweight, and obese men. Journal of the American Medical Association, 282, 1547-1553.

Protocol ID:


Export Variables
Variable NameVariable IDVariable DescriptionVersiondbGaP Mapping
PX151401_Age PX151401010000 Participant's age Variable Mapping
PX151401_BMI PX151401040000 Participant's body mass index (BMI) Variable Mapping
PX151401_Height PX151401020000 Participant's height N/A
PX151401_Resting_Heart_Rate PX151401050000 Participant's resting heart rate measured from wrist after 5 minutes of rest in supine position Variable Mapping
PX151401_Weight PX151401030000 Participant's weight Variable Mapping
Physical Activity and Physical Fitness
Measure Name:

Cardiorespiratory Fitness - Non-Exercise Test Estimate

Release Date:

October 1, 2015


This measure of aerobic capacity combines anthropometric measurements with self-reported physical activity to estimate cardiorespiratory fitness.


The purpose of this measure is to assess cardiorespiratory fitness, a predictor of chronic disease and mortality.


Physical Activity and Physical Fitness , aerobic capacity, cardiorespiratory fitness, exercise, metabolic equivalent, MET