Sit-to-stand test: Performance and determinants across the age-span

Richard W. Bohannon, Deborah J. Bubela, Susan R. Magasi, Ying Chih Wang, Richard C. Gershon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


Although the validity of the sit-to-stand (STS) test as a measure of lower limb strength has been questioned, it is widely used as such among older adults. The purposes of this study were: 1) to describe five-repetition STS test (FRSTST) performance (time) by adolescents and adults and 2) to determine the relationship of isometric knee extension strength (force and torque), age, gender, weight, and stature with that performance. Participants were 111 female and 70 male (14-85 years) community-dwelling enrollees in the NIH Toolbox Assessment of Neurological and Behavioral Function. The FRSTST was conducted using a standard armless chair. Knee extension force was measured using a belt-stabilized hand-held dynamometer; knee extension torque was measured using a Biodex dynamometer. The mean times for the FRSTST ranged from 6.0 sec (20-29 years) to 10.8 sec (80-85 years). For both the entire sample and a sub-sample of participants 50-85 years, knee extension strength (r= -0.388 to -0.634), age (r=0.561 and 0.466), and gender (r=0.182 and 0.276) were correlated significantly with FRSTST times. In all multiple regression models, knee extension strength provided the best explanation of FRSTST performance, but age contributed as well. Bodyweight and stature were less consistent in explaining FRSTST performance. Gender did not add to the explanation of FRSTST performance. Our findings suggest, therefore, that FRSTST time reflects lower limb strength, but that performance should be interpreted in light of age and other factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-240
Number of pages6
JournalIsokinetics and Exercise Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2010


  • Muscle strength
  • aging
  • measurement
  • mobility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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