Date Available


Year of Publication


Document Type



Public Health


Rehabilitation Sciences

First Advisor

Terry R. Malone

Second Advisor

Lori S. Gonzalez


Activity and fitness levels decline through the years from 30 to 60 years of age. Minimal research is available regarding functional assessment tools in this population. Reliable functional tools are needed to reintroduce individuals to appropriate physical activity levels following an injury and to maintain high levels of participation through their lifespan. The purposes of this study were multiple: 1) determine if three functional tests correspond with neuromotor fitness levels, 2) establish a model of functional tests, activity levels and descriptive data that distinguishes the most from the least fit, 3) describe expected mean functional test performances, and 4) demonstrate the reliability of the three functional tests in a sample of 30-60 year olds. 63 females and 38 males completed activity surveys, a neuromotor fitness test, the star excursion balance test (SEBT), the four square step test (FSST), and the Biering-Sorensen test of trunk extensor muscle endurance. Moderate to high reliability of the functional tests was determined with 29 subjects. The SEBT (r=.97), FSST (r=.88) and the Biering-Sorensen test (r=.64) were reliable. All functional tests were able to distinguish between the most fit and least fit with regards to the fitness tests. A model of the body mass index and the FSST predicted 25% of the variance in fitness level. Functional test means are reported by 10-year age groups and represent expected performance values.Health care professionals can use this information to compare their patients to this group of healthy individuals. This will allow them to have some idea of how well a person with an injury is performing relative to a healthy individual. Additionally the combination of a persons BMI plus their FSST gives the health care professional some information about an individual level of neuromuscular fitness so that the health care professional can guide their patients toward an appropriate level of physical activity after their injury or illness.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.