Danish Step Test (DStep)

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1. Test objective

To determine cardiorespiratory endurance (maximal oxygen uptake).

2. Description of the task

The test consists of a stepwise increasing exercise, in which a step is used as well as a computer program, which sets the tempo. At the beginning, stepping is done every 5 seconds until it increases to stepping once per second. The subject follows the tempo as long as possible. This means that this test is a test of VO2max.

The subject should wear sports shoes. It is possible to test the step sequence two to three times next to the step to make sure that the subject knows how to follow the commands. It is important to stretch the legs each time when stepping up. The subject should always alternate between the right and left foot. Nevertheless, in the final phase, the subject may continue the test without alternating between the left and right feet. The subject should stand close to the step and the movement should be done without jumping. The test must end when the subject is at least four commands behind the sequence. The test goes for a maximum of six minutes.

3. Test materials

 3.1. Time requirement: max. six minutes
3.2. Material requirements: computer, step sequence (download on online platform of EFB), step/bench (30-40 cm high), loudspeaker, stopwatch


4. Measurement recording

The time in which the sequence can be followed is measured.

5. Special notes

The recommendation of the step height is 30 cm for women and 35 cm for men.

Sources of error:

- the rhythm cannot be followed correctly
- the weight is not equally distributed on the whole foot
- the legs are not fully extended on the step (this is okay towards the end of the test)
- if the test person has difficulties with the coordination of the step up and down or feels dizziness and stops before the step out, the result is not comparable.

6. Sources

Aadahl, M., Zacho, M., Kubbeverg, A., B.H., & Jorgensen, T. (2013). Comparison of the Danish step test and the watt-max test for estimation of maximal oxygen uptake: the Health2008 study. European journal of preventive cardiology, 20 (6), 1088-1094.

Bös, K., Brehm, W., Klemm, K., Schreck, M., & Pauly, P. (2017). European Fitness Badge. Handbuch für Übungsleiter. Deutscher Turner-Bund e.V.



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