Physical Ability Testing for Employees (PAT)

The City of Oak Forest

Powered by:  Joliet Junior College Fitness Center


The Physical Abilities Test (PAT) is a fitness assessment designed to determine a worker's ability to meet the general physical demands required for a specific job.  The assessment is a benefit to both the employer and employee.  A baseline level of fitness can increase the likelihood of successful job performances and productivity, and decrease the risk of injury and indemnity.

The assessment is performed by qualified fitness professionals.  Each individual test involves national testing protocols and comparisons to national norms.  Results are immediately available.

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Sit and Reach Flexibility Test

​The Sit-and-reach test is the most common assessment of flexibility of the hamstring muscles, hip joint and lower back.  The practical significance of this test is the wide spread problems of low back pain and joint soreness, generally associated with decreased hamstring and low back flexibility. 

Following a brief warm-up for the targeted muscle groups, the participant performs the sit and reach assessment.  Seated on the floor, both feet flat against a testing box, the participant should slowly reach forward keeping knees straight and on the floor.  The score reflects the inches reached (best of three attempts is recorded), and compared to national norms for gender and age. 

1 Minute Sit-up Test

The 1 Minute Sit-up Test is designed to measure the muscular endurance of the abdominal muscles, important for maintaining core strength, posture and minimizing low back problems. 

The participant performs full sit-ups in the bent leg position for 1 minute.  The score is compared to national norms based on gender and age.  

1 Mile Walk/Run (treadmill)

The 1 Mile Walk Test is designed to measure aerobic or cardiovascular fitness.  Following a brief warm-up, the participant will walk a distance of one mile on a treadmill.  The time to complete the one mile is recorded and compared to national norms based on age and gender.  

3 Minute Step Test

The 3 Minute Step Test assesses a participant's recovery heart rate which is used to determine level of cardiovascular fitness.  (Participating in this exercise and completing 3 minutes of stepping generally represents a lack of knee or lower back problems). 

Participants step up and down at 24 cycles a minute (metronome setting of 96) for 3 minutes.  Immediately following 3 minutes of stepping, the participant sits as heart rate is measured for 60 seconds.  The score is compared to national norms based on gender and age.  

Shoulder Press

This assessment is used to establish that a participant is able to lift a weight of 50lbs overhead.  The participant is seated at the weight machine with the back and neck supported.  The seat height is adjusted so that the feet are flat on the floor and the handles are level with the shoulders.  Holding each handle, the participant pushes straight up above the head, then slowly lowers the weight with control.  ​

** This assessment does not compare to national norms since the weight lifted is a required minimum for a particular job.  Maximum weight lifted may be adjusted to individual job requirements.