The Rockport Test is a one mile walk at your best pace.

Rockport Walking Test

The best beginner's VO2 max test (one-mile walk)!

The Rockport Walking Test is the perfect cardio fitness test for beginners. Time yourself for a one-mile brisk walk on a flat surface, take your pulse, enter your results in the calculator, and look up your VO2 max score from the charts below

VO2 max impacts our performance, our health, and even our survival! Your test results will show how you compare with healthy standards for your age group.

The Rockport Test is a one mile walk at your best pace.

Four tips to prepare for the Rockport Walking Test

1) Your best test results require walking at your top speed. A good warm-up will boost your circulation and activate your muscles before you begin

Try a brief light-to-medium effort walk, followed by active mobility exercises and stretching. The image shows side leg swings, hip flexion with a rear arm swing, plus quad and calf stretching.

2) Power-walking can also help you maximize your walking speed. The faster your speed, the stronger your exertion and the more accurate your score will be.

 If you haven't practiced power-walking technique, you may find that you can walk faster than you think.  

pick a flat walking route for the Rockport TestPick a flat, low traffic route for the test.

3) Do you have a good route picked out?  Avoid hills or traffic, which would increase your heart rate or slow you down. You can use a track, a treadmill set at 1% grade, or a fitness watch to measure the one-mile distance. 

4) Before you start the test, practice taking your pulse to be sure you’ll get an accurate score. With your palm facing up, place your fingers over the thumb side of your wrist, just to the inside of your wrist tendons.

Press in gently and feel for your pulse.

take your pulse for 15 seconds right after the Rockport TestTake your pulse for 15 seconds right after the one-mile walk.

The Rockport Walking Test gives the most accurate results for non-athlete working-age adults. If a one-mile brisk walk would be very easy for you, even at a power walking pace, you’ll get a more accurate score from maximum effort tests like the Cooper 1.5-mile or 12-minute run.  

The 3-Minute Step Test is another reliable option, though it will not give you a VO2 max score.

Directions for the Rockport Walking Test

1) Walk as quickly as possible for one mile. It's important to maintain a steady pace for best results.

2) Take your pulse for 15 seconds immediately after completing the mile. Multiply this number by 4 and enter it into the calculator.

3) Enter your time for the one-mile walk in minutes and seconds into the calculator. 

Walking Fitness Calculator
Personal Information
Weight (lbs) Age Gender
1 Mile Walk Results
Time (mm:ss) Heart Rate

Calculate all your fitness metrics. Compare to healthy standards!

Age group scoring charts for the Rockport Walking Test

Rockport walking test age group score chart for womenFigures shown are VO2 Max scores, rated by healthy standards for each age group.

This chart shows the standards for women by age group. If you are 22 years old or younger, multiply the number you get from the calculator by 0.81 to get your score.

Age group is in the left column, death risk and fitness rating are in the top rows, and 10-year-survival is in the bottom row. Notice the difference it makes to improve from poor to fair fitness! 

Ladies in their 40s with a VO2 Max lower than 24.5 (Poor) had a 39% higher risk of contracting diabetes than their more fit peers (9).  Find your score from the calculator above, then look just to the right on the chart to see your VO2. If you are 22 years old or younger, multiply your score from the calculator by 0.81.

Here is the chart for men. Age group is in the left column, death risk and fitness rating are in the top rows, and 10-year-survival is in the bottom row.

If you’re a male 22 years old or younger, multiply the number you get from the calculator by 0.85 to get your score. 

Rockport walking test age group score chart for menThese scoring standards come from Cleveland Clinic VO2 Max testing of over 120,000 people with 15 years of follow-up to gauge health outcomes.

Men rated in the highest 1/3 of fitness (just below Excellent or better) have a 39% lower risk of heart disease and stroke than their peers in the lowest 1/3 (just above Poor or worse) (10).  Premature deaths among obese men could be reduced by 44% just by improving fitness above the poor category (11).

Compare your fitness metrics to healthy standards!

You got your VO2 max from the Rockport Test. How about the other fitness metrics? Calculate your Waist-To-Hip Ratio, BMI, and Waist-To-Height Ratio, and compare your scores to healthy standards for all the tests on the included age-group scoring charts from Why I Exercise.

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Power walking technique for the Rockport walking test. 

See the difference between power walking and brisk walking.

With an aggressive arm swing and intentional push-off, power walking recruits more muscle groups to help propel you forward. My top walking speed over a mile increased from 4.3 to 4.9 mph by switching from brisk walking to power walking.  

Keep your elbows bent 90 degrees and drive your elbows back. Intentionally push off the ball of your foot with each step. Throughout the walk, stay tall and keep your gaze forward.  Use power walking for the test only if you feel comfortable with it.  You want to hold a steady pace for the entire mile.  

Exercise for a better score on the Rockport walking test. 

This chart helps you pick workouts and physical activities matched to your ability level. Find your score from the Rockport Test on the left, then scan to the right to find exercise intensity ratings for moderate, vigorous, and hard workouts. Next, see the exercise rating charts below and pick activities that match your ability level. 

Improving your Rockport score by just 3.5 points can reduce your risk of premature death by 13%. You would have to lose nearly 3 inches from your waist for a similar health benefit! (2,8). 

Becoming more fit can be as simple as spending more time on your usual activities. Here is a range of physical activities compared by their intensity.  Find activities like these that are available to you on your busiest days.

Establish a routine and get used to being more active, then pick up the intensity to increase your benefits. There are more and more possibilities as you continue to improve your fitness.


The Rockport Walking Test is the most accurate walking-based fitness test to estimate your VO2 max. Using the methods described in this article, you can get a reliable fitness measurement to compare to healthy standards for your age group.

Once you know your score and peer-level fitness rating, you can adjust your exercise training and physical activities to reach your desired fitness level. Visit the articles below to learn what makes VO2 max a leading health measurement, what to do about a low VO2 max, and how to use activities from everyday life to help improve your cardio fitness.

  More Masterclass Articles

 VO2 max

VO2 max impacts our performance, our health, and even our survival!  Find out whether you’re fit enough for optimal health and top performance. See the average VO2 Max for your age group and find out how much you need to improve your fitness to lower your health risk significantly.

VO2 max helps keep you fit later in life.

Low VO2 max                                                      

Low VO2 max is proven to affect our survival rate and quality of life. Find out why you may be struggling with cardio conditioning and what you can do to overcome it. 

Low VO2 max and survival rate from middle age

Metabolic Equivalent 

Fine tune your lifestyle for a longer life expectancy, using the activities you enjoy.  Create effective training programs from daily life activities, senior-friendly activities, sports, leisure activities, and cardio exercise.

Metabolic Equivalent (MET), compare calories burned walking, running and at rest


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2) Mandsager K, Harb S, Cremer P, Phelan D, Nissen SE, Jaber W. Association of Cardiorespiratory Fitness With Long-term Mortality Among Adults Undergoing Exercise Treadmill Testing. JAMA Netw Open. 2018 Oct 5;1(6):e183605. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.3605. PMID: 30646252; PMCID: PMC6324439.

3) Dolgener FA, Hensley LD, Marsh JJ, Fjelstul JK. Validation of the Rockport Fitness Walking Test in college males and females. Res Q Exerc Sport. 1994 Jun;65(2):152-8. doi: 10.1080/02701367.1994.10607610. PMID: 8047707.

4) Fenstermaker KL, Plowman SA, Looney MA. Validation of the Rockport Fitness Walking Test in females 65 years and older. Res Q Exerc Sport. 1992 Sep;63(3):322-7. doi: 10.1080/02701367.1992.10608749. PMID: 1513964.

5) McSwegin, P.J., Plowman, S.A., Wolff, G.M., & Guttenberg, G.L. (1998). The Validity of a One-Mile Walk Test for High School Age Individuals. Measurement in Physical Education and Exercise Science, 2, 47-63.

6) Arizona State University, Healthy Lifestyles Research Center, Compendium of Physical Activities,

7) Rospo G, Valsecchi V, Bonomi AG, Thomassen IW, van Dantzig S, La Torre A, Sartor F. Cardiorespiratory Improvements Achieved by American College of Sports Medicine's Exercise Prescription Implemented on a Mobile App. JMIR Mhealth Uhealth. 2016 Jun 23;4(2):e77. doi: 10.2196/mhealth.5518. PMID: 27339153; PMCID: PMC4937178.

8) Duck-chul Lee, Enrique G Artero, Xuemei Sui and Steven N Blair, Mortality trends in the general population: the importance of cardiorespiratory fitness, Journal of Psychopharmacology 24(11) Supplement 4. 27–3, Available from

9) Xuemei Sui, MD, Steven P. Hooker, PhD, et al, A Prospective Study of Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in Women, Diabetes Care December 10, 2007, available from

10) Xuemei Sui, Michael J. LaMonte, and Steven N. Blair, Cardiorespiratory Fitness as a Predictor of Nonfatal Cardiovascular Events in Asymptomatic Women and Men; American Journal of Epidemiology, Vol. 165, No. 12; available from

11) Ming Wei; James B. Kampert; Carolyn E. Barlow; et al., Relationship Between Low Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Mortality in Normal-Weight, Overweight, and Obese Men; JAMA. 1999;282(16):1547-1553; Available from

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