Chester Step Test

The Chester step test is a standard part of the RUK(wind turbine) renewables medical. 
For oil and gas workers: OGUK medical + chester step test (in many cases) can qualify as an RUK medical.  

This article explains chester step test
If you are looking to get the certificate, see our medical providers list in the menu.

chester step test in a oguk doctors clinic

What Is the Chester Step Test?

The Chester step test (CST) is a submaximal, multistage aerobic capacity test used to predict cardiorespiratory fitness.

How Does the Chester Step Test Work?

In simple terms, The Chester step test gauges your level of cardiorespiratory fitness using your heart’s ability to recover from exertion.

Technically, CST predicts aerobic capacity from a statistical line of best fit. The graph is plotted based on the mathematical correlation between oxygen cost, workload, and heart rate.  This linear relationship is considered in association with the American College of Sports Medicine’s (ACSM’s) metabolic cost of stepping equation. The result? Aerobic capacity is foretold from a line of best fit.

graph for chester step test calculations

What Happens During the CSTs?

Chester step tests often follow this general procedure :

  • First, both your maximum heart rate ( i.e 220-Age) and 80% of maximum heart rate values are determined and recorded. The obtained values are input in the appropriate spaces provided on the Chester step Record sheet. Once this is done, two horizontal lines will be drawn on the graph to depict these values.


  • A heart rate monitor is then attached to you. Your occupational doctor tells you what to do and expect during the test. You’d also see a quick demonstration of the initial stepping rate.


  • The CST instructional CD will then be turned on and you’d be asked to begin stepping at the required stepping rate. The stepping continues for the next two minutes. On a chart graduated from 6 to 20(with 6 being extremely light exertion and 20 being extremely tough exertion), you may be required to show your rating of perceived exertion (RPE). Your heart rate and RPE are recorded in the last seconds of these two minutes. This is the first stage of this multistage test.


  • Upon completion of stage 1, you proceed to stage 2 of this test. Here, you are required to continue stepping for another two minutes at a slightly faster rate. Your heart rate and RPE readings are also taken in the last few seconds.


  • This test then continues through multiple stages in this progressive manner until you reach an exercise heart rate greater than 80% of your maximum heart rate or an RPE of 14. This usually occurs at the fourth or fifth stage of the test when you’re at a speed of about 30-35 steps/min.


  • The increased stepping then stops, your results are plotted and your attending doctor interprets the result.

Where to get a Chester step test certificate

You can get the chester step test certificate from an OGUK/RUK medical provider, we have a list of doctors in different cities in the UK, see the medicals tab in the menu. You will need to book an appointment, and perform the test in their clinic. See chester step test Aberdeen

Also this is a short video of the wind turbine medical, and how the Chester Step Test is used. 

Can Anyone Take the Test?

The Chester step test is not limited by age or gender. The test is safe for everyone provided there are no medical contraindications. 

How Long Does the Chester Step Test Take?

While the exact time duration may vary from test to test, the Chester step test usually takes about ten minutes.

Why Is CST Used in Wind Turbine Medicals?

The wind turbine medical is an assessment of fitness to work offshore as well as on land-based projects for the renewable energy sector. In this sector, the need for cardiorespiratory fitness cannot be overemphasized. Hence CST is adopted as a reliable assessment

How Accurate Is the Chester Step Test?

While CST remains an effective, inexpensive method to determine aerobic capacity, it does have an error margin of about 10-15%, a margin similar to those of other submaximal tests that operate on a heart rate response-based principle

How to do a Chester Step Test yourself

To take the Chester step test, you’d need:

  • A low step (usually about 30cm/12″)
  • Heart rate monitor
  • Chester Step Test instructional CD
  • CD player
  • Rating of Perceived exertion (RPE) chart
  • CST software calculator
  • CST test Manual


The Chester step test is a great method of gauging aerobic capacity. Nonetheless, factors such as the inability to maintain the right stepping rhythm, nerves, anxiety, etc may elevate the heart rate, thereby reducing accuracy. So, while CST is perfect where a good range or estimate of aerobic capacity is required, it might be an unsuitable option for more precise measurement.