ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How Fit Is Your Heart?

Updated on March 22, 2011

If you want to know how fit your heart is, one of the simplest ways is to use the 'Harvard Step Test' where you step up and down on a bench for a few minutes, then see how your heart recovers from the effort.

You can perform this test at home. All you need is a bench 20 inches (50 cm) high or a flight of stairs, and a watch with a second hand. Step from the floor on to the bench or the second step of the stairs (missing out the first) and down again, 30 times a minute for four minutes. Time yourself with the watch, or, if you have one, use a metronome. You must straighten your knee fully at each step up.

If you get too exhausted to carry on, note down the time that you stopped: it will make a difference to your eventual score. The test is quite strenuous, so be cautious. If you experience any problems, such as tightness in the chest, breathing difficulties or chest pain, then stop immediately.

As soon as you have finished, sit quietly and take your pulse for a full 30 seconds, starting exactly one minute after you finish. Write down the number of beats immediately, then repeat the 30-second pulse count and writing twice more, starting two minutes after you stopped the exercise, and then again a minute later.

You will find your pulse easiest just above the wrist on the thumb side of the inside of the forearm, between the first tendon and the bone. Use your index and middle fingers to time it.

You can then calculate your 'recovery index'. This is the duration of the exercise in seconds multiplied by 100 divided by double the sum of the three pulse counts.

Take these two examples. Mr A stopped the exercise after three minutes 40 seconds (220 seconds), and his respective pulse rates were 76, 64 and 60. This gives a score of 22,000 divided by 400, or 55. Miss B completed the four minutes, and her pulse readings were 66, 57 and 53. She had a score of 68 (24,000 divided by 352).

Mr A was decidedly unfit: Miss B could be considered to be fairly fit, but needing to do better. Try the exercise yourself: if your score is 60 or less, you need to be much fitter. You can be described as only 'fair' if you score between 61 and 70, 'good' between 71 and 80, and 'very good' between 81 and 90. If you score 91 or more you are probably already an athlete in training.

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • fucsia profile image

    fucsia 

    7 years ago

    very useful! Thanks for sharing!

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)