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Harvard Step Test


Math, P.E. & Health, Science  



Activity title: Harvard Step Test

Intended stage: Grade five

The lesson is integrated lesson and has a relation with other subject such as science and mathematics in addition to physical education

  • Science : Explaining  how to fitness effects on heart and man breathing
  •  Math: Calculate the number of heart digging and evaluating the standard of fitness for students.
  • Physical education : How to performance the test form good stance – stand  of level physical fitness ,makes programmed  to lift physical fitness  for students

    Equipment requiredstep or platform 20 inches / 50.8 cm high, stopwatch, metronome or cadence tape


Domain skill: The objective of this test is to monitor the development of the athlete’s cardiovascular system

Domain knowledge: the student’s knowledge about steps test

Domain emotional: connecting between & co-operation anther subject


Harvard Steps- Test








  • Procedure: The athlete steps up and down on the platform at a rate of 30 steps per minute (every two seconds) for 5 minutes or until exhaustion. Exhaustion is defined as when the athlete cannot maintain the stepping rate for 15 seconds. The athlete immediately sits down on completion of the test, and the total numbers of heart beats are counted between 1 to 1.5 minutes after finishing (see measuring heart rate). This is the only measure required if using the short form of the test. If the long form of the test is being conducted, there is an additional heart rate measures at between 2 to 2.5 minutes, and between 3 to 3.5 minutes. See some videos of Harvard Step tests being performed.


Scoring: the Fitness Index score is determined by the following equations. For example, if the total test time was 300 seconds (if completed the whole 5 minutes), and the number of heart beats between 1-1.5 minutes was 90, between 2-2.5 it was 80 and between 3-3.5 it was 70, then the long form Fitness Index score would be: (100 x 300) / (240 x 2) = 62.5. Note: you are using the total number of heart beats in the 30 second period, not the rate (beats per minute) during that time.


Score Cardiovascular Rating

Rating           fitness index (long form)

Excellent                  > 90

Good                          80 – 89

High average         65 – 79

Low average           55 – 64

Poor                           < 55


Mohammed Asim Ghazi Physical education teacher at Al-Anjal International SchoolSaudi Arabia .Jeddah

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Harvard Step Test  [DOWNLOAD]