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The home test that shows how fit you are for your age | Prof Niall Moyna on Irish fitness

Ciaran Bradley
Ciaran Bradley

18:52 26 Jan 2021

Dr Niall Moyna has made his life's work getting Ireland to get fitter - and has had a hand in developing a fitness test that every person reading can use.

As Professor in the School of Health and Human Performance at DCU, Moyna has pulled together the best available research so that you - yes, you - can get a sense of exactly where you are, fitness-wise.

As part of our 'The Future of Sport' series, Moyna explains that fitness needed for health is different to athletic ability, but there are aspects that apply to current and future health.

The tests are based on four key aspects: ideal body composition, cardiovascular fitness, balance and muscular strength.

Moyna explains the science behind the tests in the video above, but here are some of the main markers.

Fitness test

"This is the average, so it you are below this number then you are below average. If you are a 30-year-old male, you should be able to do a minimum of 21 normal push-ups. Most would find that difficult.

"When you get to 40 years old, it is 16; 60 years old it is 12. That may seem very easy to do, but go home tonight and try it.

"If you are 20 years of age, it is 30 push-ups.

"For a 30-year-old female has to do 14 modified (knees on the floor) push-ups as women have much less muscle strength as men.

"Primary ageing starts around the age of 30, so regardless of our nutrition and exercise, we will lose muscle mass. But the rate at which we lose it can be affected by our lifestyle."

Breakdown by gender and age

While it is something that Moyna was at pains to stress to young women in particular, the tests are designed to be done in your own front room.

"The reason we designed these tests was that they had to be simple and be able to do them at home.

"Another simple test was to sit on a chair with your hands across your chest on your shoulders, and to be able to stand and sit as many times as you possibly could in 30 seconds.

"For a 30-year-old male, they would be expected to 24 of those, a female, 23.

"A 40-year-old male would be expected to do 22, a female, 21.

"It is amazing that the amazing the amount of people that reach between 40 and 50 and they say 'I just did not realise what has happened."

Watch the full video from Professor Moyna for the complete breakdown of what you can do, and get in touch with us on #OTBFuture on Twitter to let us know how you get on.

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