Sit-to-stand test to evaluate knee extensor muscle size and strength in the elderly: a novel approach

J Physiol Anthropol. 2009;28(3):123-8. doi: 10.2114/jpa2.28.123.


The present study examined whether a sit-to-stand score can be related to the force-generating capacity of knee extensor muscles. Fifty-seven subjects (28 men, 63.0+/-7.8 yrs, and 29 women, 64.2+/-7.5 yrs, means+/-SDs) performed a 10-repeated sit-to-stand test as fast as possible, on a steel molded chair. The time taken (T(sit-stand)) was measured with a manual stopwatch. The leg length (L), defined as the distance from the great trochanter of the femur to the malleolus lateralis, was measured using a tape. A power index of the test (P(sit-stand)) was calculated by using the following equation: P(sit-stand)=(L-0.4) x body mass x g x 10/T(sit-stand). The cross-sectional area of the quadriceps femoris muscle (CSA(KE)) and the maximal voluntary isometric knee extension force (F(KE)) were measured using MRI and a static myometer, respectively. There was no significant correlation between T(sit-stand) and each of CSA(KE) and F(KE). On the other hand, the P(sit-stand) was highly correlated with CSA(KE) and F(KE), even after the influence of body mass and L was statistically eliminated. These results indicate that P(sit-stand), derived from three variables of body mass, leg length, and time taken for a sit-to-stand test, can be a useful index to assess the force-generating capacity of the knee extensor muscles of elderly individuals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Isometric Contraction / physiology*
  • Knee / physiology*
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Muscle Strength / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / anatomy & histology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Time Factors