- Method of assessing muscle power.
- Involves a 30-second maximal effort trial on a leg or arm ergometer.
- First validated in able-bodied individuals to use as a predictor of physical performance of anaerobic activities.
- Arm WAnT has been used in persons with paraplegia to compare to performance of upper limb anaerobic tasks such as transferring in and out of the car and 26m wheelchair sprints.
- This is the only standardized test to monitor upper extremity strength and power. Most assessments look at aerobic function rather than anaerobic tasks.
- This test has been shown to be valid and reliable across a wide range of able bodied and disabled individuals, including those with paraplegia. It is also a well-established protocol that has been used in many populations so comparisons are possible.
- The test is relatively easy and inexpensive to administer with the appropriate equipment; however, the initial expenditure is significant.
Body Functions ▶ Functions and Structures of the Cardiovascular, Haematological, Immunological and Respiratory Systems
How to conduct the test
- 10-20 minutes including warm-up (depending on number of tests administered).
- The individual “free wheels” on an arm ergometer with no resistance for 3-5 minutes, after which they increase the cadence to 100 rev/min. The resistance load is then applied (3.5% body weight) and the subject pedals as fast as they can for 30 seconds, followed by a 1-2 minute cool down without resistance.
- Arm ergometer
The ergometer system is typically linked to a computer with specific software to calculate:
- Peak power (highest average power for any 5s period).
- Mean power (average power over 30s).
- Relative peak power (peak power standardized by body mass).
- Anaerobic fatigue (percentage decline in power output time).
- Anaerobic capacity (total work done in 30s).
No formal training required. However, training in administration and setup of software and ergometer is recommended.
Can be found here. Additional information can be found here.
# of studies reporting psychometric properties: 5
MCID: not established
SEM: not established
MDC: not established
- The higher the outcome measures (peak and mean power), the greater strength the individual exhibits.
- No normative data or cut-points have been established for the SCI population.
- Published data for the SCI population is available for comparison (see the Interpretability section of the Study Details sheet).
- Test-retest reliability of the WAnT for peak power output Ppeak and mean power output Pmean are high for both the paraplegic group and the tetraplegic (C5-C7) group.
- Values of Ppeak and Pmean were significantly associated between trials, with calculated r2 values of 0.92 and 0.94 respectively.
- Values of Ppeak were significantly (P<.05) associated between trials for the C5 (r2 = .945), C6 (r2 = .975) and C7 (r2 = .934) groups.
- Values of Pmean were also significantly (P<.05) associated between trials for the C5 (r2 = .983), C6 (r2 = .962) and C7 (r2 = .879) groups.
(Jacobs et al. 2003; Jacobs et al. 2005)
No values were reported for the validity of the WAnT for the SCI population at this time.
No values were reported for the responsiveness of the WAnT for the SCI population at this time.
No values were reported for the presence of floor/ceiling effects in the WAnT for the SCI population.
Dr. Vanessa Noonan, Matthew Querée, Gita Manhas
Date Last Updated
22 July 2020
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Jacobs PL, Johnson B, Somarriba GA, Carter AB. Reliability of upper extremity anaerobic power assessment in persons with tetraplegia. J Spinal Cord Med 2005;28:109-113.
Jacobs PL, Johnson BM, Mahoney ET, Carter AB, Somarriba GA. Effect of variable loading in the determination of upper-limb anaerobic power in persons with tetraplegia. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2004;41(1):9-14.
Jacobs PL. Effects of resistance and endurance training in persons with paraplegia. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009;41(5):992-7.
Nash MS, Van de ven I, Van elk N, Johnson BM. Effects of circuit resistance training on fitness attributes and upper-extremity pain in middle-aged men with paraplegia. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2007;88(1):70-5.