Introduction: A primary barrier to measuring cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) in school-aged children is the lack of accepted and suitable measures that don’t encourage “drop-out” for test completion and are cost and time effective. This study aimed to: 1) Test the concurrent validity of the Modified Shuttle Test-Paeds (MSTP) as a measure of CRF in children, against the gold standard reference - VO2peak relative to body mass; 2) Contrast the strength of the relation between the MSTP and VO2peak compared to the relation between the 20m Multi-Stage-Running-Test (MSRT) and VO2peak; 3) Determine whether the MSTP is a more valid indicator of CRF in children who are overweight or obese compared to those who are not.
Methods: A concurrent validation study design utilising a convenience sample of 25 school-aged children (age: 6-16 yr; male/female: 19/5; BMI: 21 ± 9 kg/m2), was employed. Physical measures included: Motor Proficiency (BOT2), VO2peak, 20mMSRT and MSTP.
Results: Mean aerobic fitness results included; VO2 peak (mL/kg/min): 43.8 ± 11.2; 20m MSRT (level) 5.48 ± 2.96; MSTP (no.): 22.10 ± 3.05. Significant and high correlations existed between VO2peak and MSTP (r2 = 0.749, p = 0.00) and these relationships were strengthened for children who are overweight or obese (r2 = 0.834, p = 0.011).
Conclusion: The MSTP is a valid measure of aerobic fitness with a high predictive validity for estimating VO2peak in children, especially overweight and obese children, using a simple equation that is clinically applicable. The MSTP may be considered as an alternative measure for predicting VO2peak, especially in environments where there are sensitivities to measuring CRF of children with diverse fitness abilities (e.g. school environments).