The Cooper Test, also known as the Cooper 12-Minute Run, is a simple and widely used method for assessing aerobic fitness or cardiovascular endurance. It was developed by Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper, a physician in the United States Air Force, in the 1960s as a quick and practical way to measure aerobic capacity.

## How to perform a Cooper test

Here's how the Cooper Test works:

The primary goal of the Cooper Test is to run as far as possible in 12 minutes.

### Procedure:

- Find a flat and measured course (e.g., a standard running track).
- Warm up appropriately to prepare your muscles and joints.
- Start running and cover as much distance as you can within the 12-minute time frame.
- After the 12 minutes, note the total distance covered in miles or kilometers.

## Cooper 12-Minute Run VO_{2}max formula

The distance covered is then used to estimate your aerobic capacity or VO2 max (the maximum amount of oxygen your body can utilize during intense exercise). The original formula for estimating aerobic capacity in miles is:

VO_{2}max = 35.97 x d - 11.29

Where:

**d**is distance in miles covered in 12 minutes

Or in metres:

VO_{2}max = d - 504.9 44.73

Where:

**d**is distance in metres covered in 12 minutes

If the Cooper test is difficult for you, try the Rockport Test.

## Interpretation of the Cooper test

### Cooper's test scores for men

Age | Excellent | Good | Fair | Bad | Very Bad |
---|---|---|---|---|---|

11-12 | > 2600 m | 2250–2600 m | 2050–2250 m | 1950–2050 m | < 1950m |

13-14 | > 2700 m | 2400–2700 m | 2200–2399 m | 2100–2199 m | < 2100 m |

15-16 | > 2800 m | 2500–2800 m | 2300–2499 m | 2200–2299 m | < 2200 m |

17-19 | > 3000 m | 2700–3000 m | 2500–2699 m | 2300–2499 m | < 2300 m |

20-29 | > 2800 m | 2400–2800 m | 2200–2399 m | 1600–2199 m | < 1600 m |

30-39 | > 2700 m | 2300–2700 m | 1900–2299 m | 1500–1899 m | < 1500 m |

40-49 | > 2500 m | 2100–2500 m | 1700–2099 m | 1400–1699 m | < 1400 m |

50+ | > 2400 m | 2000–2400 m | 1600–1999 m | 1300–1599 m | < 1300 m |

### Cooper's test scores for women

Age | Excellent | Good | Fair | Bad | Very Bad |
---|---|---|---|---|---|

11-12 | > 1950 m | 1750–1950 m | 1500–1750 m | 1300–1500 m | < 1300 m |

13-14 | > 2000 m | 1900–2000 m | 1600–1899 m | 1500–1599 m | < 1500 m |

15-16 | > 2100 m | 2000–2100 m | 1700–1999 m | 1600–1699 m | < 1600 m |

17-19 | > 2300 m | 2100–2300 m | 1800–2099 m | 1700–1799 m | < 1700 m |

20-29 | > 2700 m | 2200–2700 m | 1800–2199 m | 1500–1799 m | < 1500 m |

30-39 | > 2500 m | 2000–2500 m | 1700–1999 m | 1400–1699 m | < 1400 m |

40-49 | > 2300 m | 1900–2300 m | 1500–1899 m | 1200–1499 m | < 1200 m |

50+ | > 2200 m | 1700–2200 m | 1400–1699 m | 1100–1399 m | < 1100 m |

## Conclusion

It's important to note that while the Cooper Test provides a quick and practical estimation of aerobic fitness, it's not as accurate as more sophisticated laboratory tests. Additionally, individual factors such as age, sex, and overall health can influence the interpretation of results.

The Cooper Test is often used in military and fitness settings as a simple and time-efficient way to assess cardiovascular endurance and track changes in fitness over time.

Remember that individual fitness levels vary, so it's important to set realistic goals based on your current abilities. If you're new to running or have any health concerns, it's advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before starting a new exercise routine.

Based on research by

- J. Alvarez-Ramirez, E. Rodriguez Theoretical analysis of the 12 min Cooper’s test to estimate the maximal oxygen uptake rate. Biomedical Signal Processing and Control, Volume 69, 2021