What is the UKK walking-test?

Content and background of the 2 km UKK walking condition test:

The 2 km test ‘sporty walking’ has been developed by the Finnish UKK (Urho Kaleva Kekkonen) Institution and has been studied by Raija Laukkanen. In 1993 she obtained her doctorate on this test and she showed that this test is secure, reliable, simply feasible and safe. At this moment the UKK walking-test is used in several European countries in the primary health care and in the industrial health care.
The test is also used in Rehabilitation and healthcare centra and as a part of many healthcare promoted programs. In The Netherlands the walking test has been promoted in the campaign ‘The Netherlands in movement’ and is conducted by a UKK-test leader who was specially trained by the Dutch Olympic Committee.
The performance of the test will be as follows: after a medical screening by means of a list of questions, the length and weight will be measured. After that the participants have to walk a distance of 2000 m; they have to walk as fast as possible, but the pace has to be constantly. Pace-accelerations can give a disruption of the test-result. After 2 km the walking-time will be noted and the heart-rate will be measured.
Through a formula, these variables, together with age, sex, length and weight, give the highest reliability of the maximum oxygen uptake capacity, expresses in a fitness index which is divided in 5 groups:
<70 Considerable less than average
70-90 Some less than average
90-110 Average
110-130 Some more than average
>130 Considerable more than average
The fitness index can be used as a starting point for ‘Sporty walking’. In the meantime it turned out that this index can easily be raised by sportive walking, which leads to a positive feedback to the participant.
Development of the test:
The best indication of the physical condition is the maximum oxygen uptake capacity,or de VO2 max; this is the indicator of a good working heart / lung system, which has to perform optimal during physical effort. To perform the requested effort during the sporty walking, the body is dependent on the transport of oxygen (O2) to the muscles. The condition of heart, lungs, blood vessels and the oxygen uptake capacity determine largely the degree of the requested effort: the oxygen uptake capacity.