Accurate measurement of cardiorespiratory fitness is important for observing changes induced by exercise interventions. To obtain accurate measurements, the testing protocol should be acceptable to participants so as to ensure a high level of compliance. The purpose of this study therefore was to compare individual and group cardiorespiratory fitness testing, and to determine whether metronome-accompanied fitness testing compared to culturally-specific music accompaniment increased the rate of completion of an eight-minute graded step test among Setswana-speaking community-dwelling adults. Twenty-seven men (41.9 ± 6.2 years) and 25 women (43.0 ± 6.3 years), all apparently healthy, were recruited for this once-off acute exercise testing of four different protocols. Participants were randomly allocated to four protocols:Individual Metronome (MTI), Individual Music (MUI), Group Metronome (MTG), and Group Music (MUG) one week apart. The sub-maximal exercise protocols were performed according to the graded eight-minute step test, a built-in function of the combined heart rate and accelerometry device (Actiheart®) for estimating VO2max. Alpha level (significance) was set at p<0.05. Testing was undertaken in a facility in the community. Acceptability was determined based on the percentage of persons completing the step test protocol. The results revealed that the largest percentage of participants (67.3%) completed the MTI eight-minute graded step test. This was followed by the MUI testing (63.4%), then the MUG testing (61.6%), and finally the MTG testing (59.7%). The participants' predicted indirect VO2 max based on the four protocols were between 28.7 ± 5.6 ml/min/kg and 27.3 ± 4.5 ml/min/kg with no significant differences (F=0.730, P>0.05). Cardiorespiratory fitness testing on an individual basis accompanied by a metronome is an acceptable protocol for community-dwelling adults, and appears to be useful for intervention studies in low-resourced community settings.
African Journal for Physical and Health Sciences (AJPHES) / Vol. 22, No. 2.1, pp.394-406