Rockport Fitness Walking Test Calculator

Find Your Fitness Level with a 1-Mile Walk

Woman Checking Fitness Watch
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How fit are you? The Rockport Fitness Walking Test is one of the best tests for cardiorespiratory fitness. It determines your fitness level by estimating your VO2max, which is your maximum possible oxygen consumption.

This walking fitness test is one you can do yourself. It's also a test that you might be used by a coach, trainer, or therapist to assess your general level of fitness and how well you might tolerate exercise.

 Studies have validated the results of this test for adult military recruits and for youths and adolescents. It compares well with the Air Force 1.5 mile run fitness test in assessing cardiovascular fitness.

What You Need to Do the Rockport 1-Mile Walk Test

This test is an easy one to perform because it doesn't require sophisticated equipment. You will need:

  • Scale to weigh the person being tested
  • Stopwatch or timing app to time the test
  • A 1-mile measured course
  • A way to measure heart rate

Take the Rockport 1-Mile Walk Test

  • You need to have a 1-mile course. For most high school tracks, that is four laps around the innermost lane. You can use an online mapping app to measure out a 1-mile course on a street or path as an alternative.
  • Warm up at a gentle pace for at least 5 minutes.
  • Walk 1 mile as fast as you can.
  • Record your time to walk 1 mile.
  • Take your heart rate immediately at the end of 1 mile. You can do this with a heart rate monitor, a heart rate app, or by taking your pulse for 15 seconds and multiplying by 4.
  • Enter your data into the calculator linked below. The calculator determines your VO2Max and compares that to standards for your gender and age group to tell you your fitness level.
  • Rockport Walking Fitness Level Calculator

What Do the Results Mean?

The results you get from the test will estimate your VO2Max in ml/kg/min.

The results are then graded based you on your age as Excellent, Very Good, Good, Average, Fair, Poor, or Very Poor.

It can be a valuable piece of knowledge to do a fitness test now and then to perform it again in a couple of months after you have started a fitness program. You can use it to see how you are improving in your fitness efforts.

You may see your fitness level decrease if you have been inactive for several weeks, such as over the winter or following an injury or illness that made you stop training.

How Can You Improve Your Fitness Test Scores?

The kind of training most likely to improve your scores is a cardio exercise done at an aerobic level, such as brisk walking, running or cycling. You need training that will get your heart pumping harder and your lungs taking in more oxygen.

Heart rate zone training uses your heart rate as a guide for exercising at different levels of intensity. It is useful to understand the different zones and use your pulse or a heart rate monitor to ensure you are in your chosen zone during cardio exercise.

If you have been sedentary, it is best to get started with an easy program before building to a more vigorous exercise level. The 30-Day Quick Start Fitness Walking Plan is appropriate for beginners.

If you enjoy walking as your primary cardio exercise and you want to improve your fitness scores, see the ideal weekly walking workout schedule for aerobic fitness. It uses workouts in different heart rate zones throughout the week.

A Word From Verywell

Measuring your fitness level before you begin an exercise program can help you see the progress you can make. If your score is low to begin with, don't be discouraged. By steadily increasing the length and intensity of your workouts, your fitness should improve. This isn't a test you can cram for, it takes consistency in doing your cardio workouts three or more days every week.

Start with walking, and once you are ready to progress, you might add running to your fitness mix. Cycling is also an excellent cardio exercise. Just get moving and keep with it.

Sources:

Kline GM, Porcari JP, Hintermeister R, Freedson PS, Ward A, McCarron RF, Ross J, Rippe JM. "Estimation of VO2 max from a one mile track walk, gender, age and body weight." Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 19, p. 253-259.

Weiglein L, Herrick J, Kirk S, Kirk EP. "The 1-Mile Walk Test is a Valid Predictor of VO2max and is a Reliable Alternative Fitness Test to the 1.5-Mile Run in US Air Force Males." Military Medicine 2011 Jun;176 (6), p. 669-673

Castro-Piñero J, Artero EG, España-Romero V, Ortega FB, Sjöström M, Suni J, Ruiz JR."Criterion-related validity of field-based fitness tests in youth: a systematic review." British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2010 Oct;44(13):934-43. doi: 10.1136/bjsm.2009.058321. Epub 2009 Apr 12.

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