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Fitness Assessment and Consultation


The purpose of the fitness assessment is to evaluate your current level of physical fitness, your eating habits, your stress coping skills and to serve as a basic risk-screening tool. The test results are then used to help establish an individualized program and to make recommendations for healthy lifestyle habits. In this way, the Fitness Center and program can serve the employee and company optimally.

Fitness assessments take 30 - 45 minutes. Appointments are generally scheduled during work between 8-11 a.m. and 2-4 p.m. You will need to come dressed to exercise or bring exercise clothes to change into: exercise shoes, shorts, and T-shirts.

Fitness assessments include the following: Skinfold caliper body composition test, sub-max VO2 test to assess cardio-respiratory fitness, flexibility and strength testing, blood pressure, height and weight and a diet and stress assessment.

Fitness assessments can be scheduled once we receive your forms. Remember, the appropriate forms must be turned in (preferably a day) before  scheduling an appointment. 

The Importance of a Fitness Assessment

The BP Fitness Center fitness assessment is an important part of identifying a person’s current level of physical fitness. Furthermore, a fitness assessment is designed to aid in the determination of one’s physical fitness status relative to age and sex, to assist in developing an exercise program, to identify potential health and injury risks with possible referral to the appropriate health professional, to establish goals and provide motivation and to evaluate progress. In this way the BP Fitness program is of maximum value to the individual member as well as to BP.  Fitness Assessments are not a replacement for a physician’s physical, however.

The fitness assessment measures four areas: cardio respiratory efficiency, muscular strength and endurance, muscle and joint flexibility and body composition. “A sound fitness testing battery should assess the function of the heart, lungs and muscles according to the physical demands of the individual’s optimal lifestyle. Many desire a level of fitness that supports daily activities, an active lifestyle and the ability to confront unforeseen emergencies. Others desire a level of physical fitness that is more athletic and will want to achieve more competitive levels of cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility and body composition” (American Council on Exercise, 2003). If participants have any medical concerns or perform below average in any category, he/she may want to consult a physician.

Fitness Assessment Test

Body Composition

Excess body fat has been associated with a number of health risks including heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, gall bladder disease, cirrhosis of the liver, hernia, intestinal obstruction and sleep disorders. It is also associated with reduced endurance performance and increased risk of injury. Most adults begin exercise programs with the sole purpose of losing weight. Scale weight can be misleading. Height and weight tables can cause further confusion. A well muscled athlete would be considered overweight while another person could seem to fall into the acceptable range but really be over fat. The YMCA protocol for body fat provides an estimate of body fat based on skinfold pinch measurements taken at the chest (for men), back of the upper arm, shoulder blade, abdomen, hip and thigh sites. A formula is used to come up with bodyfat %.

Cardiovascular Endurance

Cardiovascular Endurance is defined as the ability of the heart and lungs to provide an adequate supply of oxygen to the body over an extended period of time. The greatest cause of death in the United States is coronary heart disease. Coronary heart disease usually presents warning signs in the form of the following risk factors, such as: elevated blood lipids, hypertension, and disturbances in heart rhythms. These risk factors have been shown to be related to people’s lifestyles. According to a recent report from the Surgeon General, lack of regular exercise and physical activity contribute to the development of other coronary heart disease risk factors.
There are numerous tests designed to estimate an individual’s maximal aerobic endurance. At the BP Fitness Center we will use one of 2 methods.

For example, the Sub-maximal Life Fitness step test is easy to perform, simply requiring a 12 inch step for men or a 10" step for women, metronome and a stopwatch. The test is an aerobic stimulus controlled by stepping to a standardized cadence. A heart rate monitor is worn. The new member will start stepping to a four-beat-cycle – up, up, down, down. It doesn’t matter which foot begins the cycle, and both feet must touch the floor during the down portion. The lead foot may change during the test. The timing of the three minutes will start when the stepping begins. Throughout the test your stepping rhythm is checked. At the end of the three-minute stepping period, the member will stop stepping and his/her heart rate will be checked. If the heart rate has not reached 65% of the age adjusted maximum the member will rest 1 minute and go on to a 2nd 3 minute stage of stepping. The cadence will be faster. If 65% of maximum is achieved or passed after the first  stepping period-- the test is over. There are 3 possible 3 minute stages—each one faster than the last.

Method 2 is a submaximal cycle ergometer test. This test takes advantage of the fact that a linear relationship exists between workload and heart rate: as workload is increased, heart rate will increase in proportion. Thus, by taking two heart rate measures at two different workloads we can predict the workload --and thus V02 max-- at the predicted maximal heart rate. This relationship, however, only exists for heart rates above 110 bpm and below 85% of age adjusted maximal heart rate.


Flexibility is defined as the ability to move muscles and joints through their full range of motion. Most Americans will, at one time or another, suffer back problems. Approximately 80% of these low back problems are due to weak and/or tense muscles. Many daily activities place a great deal of strain on these muscles. Physical inactivity can also contribute to the risk factors that promote back  problems. This means that these problems can be reduced or limited through physical fitness. Physical inactivity contributes to a loss of flexibility for the lower back and hip flexors. Sitting for long periods of time promotes a sedentary existence which will result in a loss of flexibility. Individuals with a sedentary lifestyle who perform occasional physical labor are at a high risk for developing back problems.

Trunk Flexion is measured with the Modified Sit-and-Reach Test, which is administered with a sit and reach box and has well-established norms for comparison. There is a slight risk of muscle strain or pull if a forward movement is attempted that is too vigorous. Therefore all participants should warm up with gentle stretching of the low back and hamstrings, and test should be performed slowly and cautiously (American Council on Exercise, 2003).” The member establishes their start position by sitting on the floor with their back tight against a wall and their legs extended straight on the floor. Feet are placed flat against the testing box. With shoulders and head in contact with the wall a starting position is established. One hand is placed on top of the other, with the tips of the fingers aligned, then he/she exhales and slowly and leans forward by dropping the head toward or between the arms. Fingers should maintain contact with the slide on top of the box as it is pushed along the scale. The score is the farthest point reached after three trails.

Muscular Strength

Muscular Strength is defined as the ability of the muscles to produce force at high intensities over short intervals. Upper body strength is important for individuals to perform daily activities and tasks such as taking out the trash, moving furniture or appliances, or changing a tire and lifting, pulling, or pushing objects. Many tasks involve use of the upper body and limbs. In an emergency, a strong individual has a better chance of avoiding serious injury than a weak person. In many cases, upper body strength can make the difference between a serious injury and escaping harm. Muscular Strength is evaluated with the Push-up Test. “The purpose of the push-up test is to evaluate muscular strength and endurance of the upper body, including triceps, anterior deltoid, and pectoralis muscles. Men use the standard push-up position with only the hands and toes in contact with the floor.

Women use the modified push-up position (American Council on Exercise, 2003).” Assume the standard (for men) or bent-knee (for women) starting position. Lower the body, keeping back straight, until elbows are bent to a 90-degree angle, then return to starting position. The score is the total number of push-ups performed without stopping. 

Participating in a fitness assessment takes about 30-45 minutes of your time. You should dress comfortably and wear shorts, t-shirt and sneakers. Remember to ask questions if you have any and that a fitness assessment lets you know where to begin your journey to a healthier lifestyle.


Following your assessment, a Fitness Center staff member will go over your results and answer any questions you have. If desired, they can help create a health and fitness plan to help you reach your goals.


Which category do you fall into and which forms do you need?

*HBI and Physicians Clearance with Helios Plaza return information













Last update: Thursday, 28 May, 2015 4:48 PM   I  Site owner: Josh Thompson  I  contact: thomsjw@bp.com