Normative values for the unipedal stance test with eyes open and closed

J Geriatr Phys Ther. 2007;30(1):8-15. doi: 10.1519/00139143-200704000-00003.


Purpose: Limited normative data are available for the unipedal stance test (UPST), making it difficult for clinicians to use it confidently to detect subtle balance impairments. The purpose of this study was to generate normative values for repeated trials of the UPST with eyes opened and eyes closed across age groups and gender.

Methods: This prospective, mixed-model design was set in a tertiary care medical center. Healthy subjects (n= 549), 18 years or older, performed the UPST with eyes open and closed. Mean and best of 3 UPST times for males and females of 6 age groups (18-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70-79, and 80+) were documented and inter-rater reliability was tested.

Results: There was a significant age dependent decrease in UPST time during both conditions. Inter-rater reliability for the best of 3 trials was determined to be excellent with an intra-class correlation coefficient of 0.994 (95% confidence interval 0.989-0.996) for eyes open and 0.998 (95% confidence interval 0.996-0.999) for eyes closed.

Conclusions: This study adds to the understanding of typical performance on the UPST. Performance is age-specific and not related to gender. Clinicians now have more extensive normative values to which individuals can be compared.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postural Balance / physiology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reference Values
  • Vision, Ocular*