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Publication Date


Type of Culminating Activity

Thesis - Boise State University Access Only

Degree Title

Master of Science in Exercise and Sports Studies, Biophysical Studies



Major Advisor

Lynda Ransdell, Ph.D


The number of adults participating in organized sports and recreational activities continues to grow. Performance in sports or activities is dependent on several components of fitness and is assessed through performance tests. The Margaria-Kalamen staircase (MK) test is one performance test that is frequently used to measure anaerobic power. The MK test involves running an approach distance of 6 meters and then up a staircase as fast as possible taking three steps at a time. Because there is an age related decline in anaerobic power output in adult athletes, this protocol may not be appropriate for all populations. It may be more practical to modify the MK test to a less demanding protocol. The purpose of this study was to examine the reliability, convergent, and concurrent validity of a modified staircase test where participants run an approach distance of 6 meters and then up a staircase as fast as possible taking 2 steps at a time. Twenty-six recreational masters athletes between the ages of 30-50y performed the vertical jump test, the MK test, and the modified staircase test. Power was calculated from each test using the appropriate equations: Powerstaircase test (w) = [body mass (kg) x 9.81] x [h (m) /t (sec)], Average Powervertical jump (w) = 43.8 x vertical jump (cm) + 32.7 x mass (kg) – 16.8 x height (cm) + 431, Peak power (w) = 78.6 x vertical jump (cm) + 32.7 x mass (kg) – 16.8 x height (cm) + 431. Each test was performed four times. Reliability was established using a Cronbach’s alpha (R= 0.984) between the 4 trials of the modified test. Using Pearson product moment correlation, relationships were determined between the modified staircase test (Mod), MK, vertical jump distance (VJD), vertical jump peak power (VJA), and vertical jump average power (VJPP). Correlations between the Mod and MK (r = 0.909) VJD (r = 0.721), VJPP (r = 0.90), and VJA (r = 0.803) were high, positive and significant indicating strong concurrent and convergent validity for the modified staircase test. It was concluded that the new test was safe, quick, and easy to administer as well as reliable and valid for measuring anaerobic power in recreational masters athletes.