Cardiorespiratory fitness tests are important for older adults to determine baseline cardiovascular fitness and appropriate aerobic exercise intensity. The Timed Up and Go (TUG) is a test that can be modified to challenge the aerobic system by performing 10 continuous repetitions (TUG-10). The TUG-10 advantages include less space and time requirements and incorporation of functional tasks with balance challenges. The purpose of this study was to relate the performance and physiologic responses of the TUG-10 to other common aerobic capacity tests.
Fourteen independent community-dwelling adults performed the 6-minute-walk test (6MWT), 2-minute-step test (2MST), and TUG-10. Heart rate (HR), diastolic and systolic blood pressure, and rate of perceived exertion (RPE) were recorded before and after each test. Bland–Altman plots were used to determine the agreement between test performances. Repeated measures mixed models compared differences in the physiologic changes between the tests.
Participants had a clinically greater increase in the adjusted mean change in HR during the 2MST (22.5 bpm) than the 6MWT (17.0 bpm) and TUG-10 (12.3 bpm). Diastolic blood pressure response was similar across all 3 tests with no significant change. Systolic blood pressure increased less during the 6MWT (15.4 mm Hg) compared with the 2MST (33.3 mm Hg) and TUG-10 (28.7 mm Hg). Participants reported a higher RPE during the 2MST (7.9) than the 6MWT (6.1) and TUG-10 (5.2). The Bland–Altman plots indicated that participants' performance on the 3 tests was comparable.
The TUG-10, 6MWT, and 2MST demonstrated comparable performances and clinically similar physiologic changes. Heart rate and RPE changes were greater during the 2MST than the other tests, suggesting that the 2MST was more demanding. Findings support the TUG-10 as a potential functional outcome measure to estimate cardiorespiratory fitness. Moreover, the TUG-10 required minimal space and time and may facilitate the gap in aerobic testing in physical therapy practice.