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Can You Pass the Sit to Stand Test?

How many times a day do you think you go from a seated position to standing? 20? 50? 100? Have you ever thought about the muscles you use to perform this action? Have you considered the importance of this movement in your everyday activities like getting up out of a chair, getting in and out of the car, getting in and out of bed or off the toilet?  Going from sitting to standing is a movement that many of us take for granted but not one everyone can do or at least not do properly by engaging the proper muscles.


In my last article I mentioned the 30 Second Chair Sit to Stand Test as one of several ways to test for Sarcopenia or loss of muscle mass. This is directly correlated to your risk of falls.


 30 Second Chair St to Stand Test


You will need a straight back chair without arms, approx. 18” high and a timer.


1. Sit in the middle of the chair.

2. Place your hands on the opposite shoulder crossed, at the wrists.

3. Keep your feet flat on the floor.

4. Keep your back straight and keep your arms against your chest.

5. On “Go,” rise to a full standing position, then sit back down again.

6. Repeat this and see how many you can do in 30 seconds.

7. Record your score.


SCORING (These are average scores)

Age            Men  Women

60-64          14      12

65-69           12      11

70-74           12      10

75-79           11      10

80-84          10       9

85-89           8        8

90-94           7        4


How did you do? If you scored below average, you are at a greater risk for falls.


Practicing sitting to standing is one of the most important exercises you can do to help strengthen your lower body, keep you from falling and continuing to perform your daily activities. Try doing 5-10 sit to stands several times throughout your day. Gradually increase that number until you can comfortably do 15-20 at a time. Do this for 3-4 weeks and do the sit to stand test again and see how you did!


Of course, always check with your health care provider before starting any exercise program. If you need help learning how to properly do a sit to stand or how to progress them safely to make them more challenging, please seek out your local fitness expert.

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