Validation and Practical Applications of Performance in a 6-Min Rowing Test in the Danish Armed Forces.


Funch O(1), Hasselstrøm HA(2), Gunnarsson TP(1).
Author information:
(1)Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen, 2200 Copenhagen, Denmark.
(2)Centre for Military Physical Training, Danish Defence Medical Command, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark.


Personnel of the Danish Armed Forces must complete a yearly basic physical fitness test consisting of a Cooper's 12-min run test (CRT) and four strength-related bodyweight exercises. However, there is no validated alternative to the CRT allowing injured or sailing personnel to conduct the yearly basic physical fitness test. Therefore, the aim of this study was to validate performance in a 6-min rowing ergometer test (6MRT) against CRT performance. Thirty-one individuals (M/F: 20/11, age: 34 ± 12 years) employed at the Danish Armed Forces completed testing on two independent days; (I) the CRT on an outdoor track and (II) a 6MRT with pulmonary measurements of breath-by-breath oxygen uptake. In addition, 5 participants (M/F: 4/1, age: 40 ± 10 years) completed re-testing of the 6MRT. No difference was observed between VO2max estimated from the CRT and measured during the 6MRT. Absolute VO2max correlated strongly (r = 0.95; p < 0.001) to performance in the 6MRT, and moderately (r = 0.80; p < 0.001) to performance in the CRT. Bodyweight (BW) and fat free mass (FFM) correlated stronger to performance in the 6MRT compared to the CRT. 6MRT re-testing yielded similar performance results. The 6MRT is a valid and reliable alternative to the CRT, allowing injured or sailing personnel of the Danish Armed Forces to complete the basic physical fitness test as required, albeit 6MRT performance demands must be made relative to bodyweight.