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Excerpt — Senior Fitness Test Manual-2nd Edition

Create guidelines for senior group testing

It has been our experience that both practitioners and researchers generally find it preferable to administer the SFT to several people at a time. In fact, group testing is preferred when the goal is to compare performance to the normative data, because all normative scores were collected in a group setting where there tends to be more social interaction and encouragement than when tests are given in an isolated environment.

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Discover the importance of fitness testing in later years

Most of us would agree that quality of life in later years depends to a large degree on being able to do the things we want to do, without pain, for as long as possible.

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Educating and motivating Senior Fitness Test participants

After administering the SFT to your clients or program participants, we suggest that you meet with them, either individually or as a group, to give them their feedback.

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Identifying the recommended senior fitness standards

As is typical in the process of establishing criterion-based standards, a combination of processes—subjective reasoning, data-based statistics, and literature review—was involved in arriving at the recommended fitness standards (cut-point scores) for the SFT test items that would be associated with the ability (or projected ability) to function independently in later years.

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Improving strength in seniors

Briefly, strength is increased by gradually increasing the resistance placed on a muscle (i.e., by applying what is called the overload principle). Overloading a muscle means making it do more than it is accustomed to doing. This can be accomplished using free weights (similar to the dumbbells used to test arm strength in the SFT), elastic exercise bands, Velcro strap-on weights, exercise machines that are designed for specific muscle groups, or a person’s own body weight and gravity. A

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