New Chester Step Test Calculator Software (CST2)
If you want to perform the Chester Step Test accurately, then the Chester Step test app is perfect. The software calculator takes heart rate data every minute. The Chester Step Test Protocol provides a reliable assessment of aerobic capacity.
Professor Kevin Sykes developed it in 1998. The Chester Step Test protocol is a sub-maximal, multistage, aerobic capacity test. The test requires a step, heart rate watch and a test calculator.
This makes the test suitable for assessments where space and time may be tight. The test is also ideal for all ages and all levels of fitness.
The benefit of the Chester Step Test software is that it makes getting results from the test quick and easy.
The Chester Step Test uses a variety of step heights which include:
This accommodates a broad range of ages and abilities and shows no gender bias.
How do I access the Chester step test calculator software?
We used to provide the Chester step test download, which worked on a desktop or laptop.
Since then, we’ve updated the software to our latest cloud-based version. You can use the software on any device, even a mobile phone or tablet.
The Chester step test audio is built into the software, and Professor Kevin Sykes guides you through the whole test with an audio metronome beat to determine the stepping rate.
It is the most portable aerobic step test and only requires the following:
- A step (of relevant height; learn more about selecting the correct step here
- Heart rate watch
- Chester Step Test Calculator Software
If you have any questions about the Chester step test calculator, contact us or call 01244 343106
How To Perform Chester Step Test
The Chester Step Test (CST) is a submaximal, multistage aerobic capacity test. The Test requires a low step, heart rate monitor, Instructional software with stepping beat rhythms, RPE Chart and CST Software Calculator. The accompanying Manual includes Graphical Datasheets and Fitness Rating norms for age and gender.
Providing no medical contraindications to moderately vigorous exercise or stair-stepping, the subject must step onto and off a low step at a rate set by the beat on the accompanying CD. Every 2 minutes, an instruction is given asking the tester to record the subject’s exercise heart rate and perceived exertion (RPE) – and the stepping rate is then increased slightly. The Test continues in this progressive manner until the subject reaches 80 %HRMax and/or reports a moderately vigorous level of exertion (RPE=14). Aerobic capacity is then calculated by entering the exercise heart rates into the bespoke CST Software (or by using the appropriate CST Graphical Datasheet). The Test lasts for a maximum of 10 minutes.
Technical Note: CST utilises the well-established linear relationship between oxygen cost, heart rate and workload and ACSM’s metabolic cost of stepping equation, thus enabling aerobic capacity to be predicted from a statistical line of best fit (1,2,3).
Chester Step Test, what to use it for
Many workplaces now have recommended aerobic capacity standards for certain groups of workers and CST is a highly suitable assessment tool for ‘fitness to work’ examinations. Whilst a number of industries test all subjects on a standard step height (e.g. 30cms for UK Fire Service (4) and Commercial Divers (5)), CST can also be administered using different step heights (15, 20, 25 and 30cms), thereby accommodating a wide range of ages and abilities with no gender bias. Guidelines for selecting step height are given in the CST Manual. It is also a useful tool in a variety of clinical and rehabilitation settings to monitor patient aerobic fitness, recovery and exercises tolerance.
Relevance to occupational health practitioners.
CST has been used globally for over two decades in a wide variety of workplace settings including the fire, police, prison, ambulance and military services, oil, gas and offshore wind farm industries and other scenarios where an aerobic capacity assessment is required.
Ease of use
CST is straightforward to use. It is inexpensive, highly portable, easy to standardise and is a safely controlled submaximal test where heart rates and perceived exertion are monitored throughout. It is also highly repeatable, therefore ideal for test-retest scenarios.
Time to master
Chester Step is very uncomplicated to set up and conduct. Nevertheless, as with any test with which the practitioner is unfamiliar, time should be taken to rehearse, fully understand the physiological principles of the prediction of aerobic capacity from submaximal heart rates and practice the Test to achieve best and meaningful interpretation of results. The CST Manual is, therefore, a highly recommended reference read.
For organisations who request in-house staff training, a One-Day Professional Development Seminar delivered by Professor Sykes is available. This ensures that all test administrators are fully confident and consistent in their approach, understanding and interpretation of results. Further details from email@example.com
Pros and Cons Of Chester Step
CST is a simple, inexpensive test designed to assess aerobic capacity and overall Fitness Rating. However, as with all other submaximal fitness tests based on heart rate responses, the error margin is around 10-15%. Sources of error may include variability in predicted HRMax, nerves and anxiety elevating exercise heart rates and inability to maintain correct stepping rhythm. CST is, therefore, best used in situations where a good estimate of aerobic capacity is required. However, it is not suited to scenarios where precise measurement is essential. The CST is highly reliable on a test-retest basis, so it is well suited to monitoring changes.
American College of Sports Medicine (2008) ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription 7th Baltimore, Williams & Wilkins.
Latin RW, Berg, K et al (2001) Accuracy of the ACSM stair-stepping equation. Sci.Sp.Ex. 10, 1785-87.
Sykes K and Roberts A (2004) The Chester Step Test – a simple yet effective tool for the prediction of aerobic capacity. Physiotherapy 90, 183-188.
Chief Fire Officers Association (2017) Physical Fitness Tests. CFOA Pubs.
Health & Safety Executive (2015) The medical examination and assessment of commercial divers (MA1. HSE Books).