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Original articles  EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOMECHANICS 

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2008 March;48(1):37-42

Copyright © 2008 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Chin-up strength tests: does stature matter?

Sekerak R. J. 1, Zimmermann K. P. 2, 3

1 Rehabilitation Services Waikato Hospital, Hamilton, New Zealand 2 Rehabilitation Care Line Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center Houston, TX, USA 3 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Baylor College of Medicine, Houston TX, USA


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Aim. Many organizations place high value on employee physical fitness and use standardized physical fitness tests (PFT) to quantify it. The chin-up strength test is an example of such a test. Participants’ anecdotal reports raise some concern that the latter is inherently biased against tall individuals. A demonstration that tall individuals are less likely than short individuals to achieve maximum score on a chin-up strength test, and modified scoring tables that equalize this likelihood across the stature range are sought.
Methods. A statistical summary of 85 chin-up test outcomes is analyzed for likelihood of maximum scores as a function of stature. Scoring tables modified by reducing the number of chin-ups required for maximum score in a ratio inverse to a fixed power of the stature ratios are introduced.
Results. Statistical analysis shows that short individuals are more likely to achieve maximum chin-up test scores (P<0.05). Stature adjusted scoring tables are shown to neutralize this trend.
Conclusion. Current scoring standards for chin-up strength tests favor short statures. Bias-free chin-up strength tests can be achieved by using stature-adjusted scoring tables. Similar bias problems may exist for other strength tests.

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