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Dr. David Peterson's fitness test puts the spotlight on strength, flexibility, and endurance.

Endurance, Flexibility, Strength: Test Spotlights Fitness

by Nicole Hackett, Student Public Relations Writer

Dr. David Peterson, assistant professor of kinesiology at Cedarville University, published “Periodic Fitness Testing: Not Just for Athletes Anymore” in the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s professional and peer-reviewed “Strength and Conditioning Journal” in October 2018.

Peterson created an assessment that evaluates 10 different components of physical fitness broken into two categories, health-related and skill-related. Most preexisting fitness tests only evaluate a handful of fitness components, like aerobic capacity, muscular strength and endurance. However, doing so fails to provide people with a comprehensive view of their overall physical fitness.

Along with the common fitness components mentioned above, Peterson’s fitness test also includes the following components:

● Agility

● Body composition

● Balance

● Coordination

● Flexibility

● Power

● Reaction time

● Speed “

Periodic fitness testing is an effective exercise strategy that many people don’t take advantage of,” explained Peterson. “I wanted to come up with a protocol that someone could easily use to evaluate themselves on all components of fitness. So when they go to the gym, they know what they really need to work on.”

Peterson’s article gives a sample field test for the different components of fitness that includes the normal range of fitness based on age and gender, so people can determine their strengths and weaknesses against others whose life situation is similar to theirs. Then it provides training recommendations with ways to improve each area.

The tests are set up to first explain why each field test is used and then instructions are provided, along with reference photos, for how to perform each test.

Since the article’s release, people have contacted Peterson wanting more information. “I was contacted by a member of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Special Response Team,” said Peterson. “He wanted more information about my proposed assessment because they were looking at changing their physical fitness test. Not saying they would use the article verbatim, but he liked some of the stuff that was introduced.”

Peterson plans to introduce his assessment here at Cedarville in his course Strength and Conditioning. Each student will read this article for class and perform the tests on themselves so they can determine their current level of fitness and identify areas where conditioning could improve.

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,193 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit

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