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Critical Reviews™ in Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine
SJR: 0.121 SNIP: 0.228 CiteScore™: 0.17

ISSN Druckformat: 0896-2960
ISSN Online: 2162-6553

Critical Reviews™ in Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevPhysRehabilMed.2013006823
pages 109-123

The Step Test and Exercise Prescription Tool in Primary Care: A Critical Review

Melanie Stuckey
Western University
Emily Knight
Lawson Health Research Institute, Aging Rehabilitation and Geriatric Care Research Centre, Western University Faculty of Health Sciences, London, Ontario, Canada
Robert J. Petrella
Lawson Health Research Institute, Aging Rehabilitation and Geriatric Care Research Centre; Western University, Faculty of Health Sciences; Western University, Schulich School of Dentistry and Medicine, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada

ABSTRAKT

It is well established in the literature that regular physical activity aids in the prevention and treatment of many chronic diseases. Despite this, it also has been reported that physical fitness assessment and exercise prescription are not readily employed in the primary care setting, which led to the development of the Step Test and Exercise Prescription (STEP) tool. STEP involves stepping up and down a set of standardized steps 20 times at a self-selected pace and calculating predicted maximum oxygen consumption based on age, sex, body weight, stepping time, and heart rate after exercise. A written, individualized exercise prescription, including target training heart rate, is provided. This review provides the STEP protocol, clarifies discrepancies in the literature, and summarizes outcomes. Interventions employing STEP have demonstrated beneficial effects for aerobic fitness, exercise compliance, exercise self-efficacy, and risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease. STEP has been particularly successful in improving the cardiometabolic risk profile associated with the metabolic syndrome. Based on existing evidence, STEP is an effective office-based tool for use by physicians or allied health care professionals to assess aerobic fitness effectively and provide individualized exercise counseling.