The President's Challenge Adult Fitness Test

1-Mile Walk

Alert! We suggest that you DO NOT take this test until you are routinely walking for 15 to 20 minutes several times per week.

In order to complete the one-mile walk test, you need to be able to take your pulse. Your pulse can be found on the inside of your wrist just at the base of your thumb.

Equipment/Test Setting

For this test you must walk at a brisk speed for one mile (4 laps around a standard quarter-mile track, located at many schools and in some parks), and take your heart rate at the end of the test. We recommend that you do the test with a partner who can help with timing and recording the results. When you take the walk test, you will need to have a stop watch that you start at the beginning of the test and stop at the finish line. Your partner will need to have a separate watch with a second hand so he or she can count off 10 seconds while you count your pulse rate for 10 seconds, immediately as you cross the finish line.

Using a Treadmill

This test can be performed on a treadmill. When walking on the treadmill, be sure to let your arms swing freely at your sides (do not hold on to the handrails). Keep the incline of the treadmill level (at zero). You or your partner need to record the time on the treadmill when you complete 1 mile and then follow steps 4-7 below.


Taking the radial pulse following the walk test.
  1. Walker starts the stopwatch to begin the one-mile walk.
  2. The partner counts the laps and lets the walker know how many laps are left.
  3. The walker stops the stopwatch while crossing the finish line.
  4. The walker finds his/her pulse immediately and the partner provides a 10-second count using the stopwatch (“Ready, begin,” and at end of 10 seconds, “Stop”).
  5. The partner records the pulse rate for 10 seconds and multiplies by six to have heart rate in beats per minute.
  6. The partner records the time for the one-mile walk in minutes and seconds.
  7. The walker completes one more lap at a slower speed to “cool-down.”