Does flexibility influence the ability to sit and rise from the floor?

Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2013 Mar;92(3):241-7. doi: 10.1097/PHM.0b013e3182744203.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to establish whether flexibility influences the ability to sit and rise from the floor.

Design: Subjects aged 6-92 yrs (n = 3927 [2645 men]) performed the Sitting-Rising Test (SRT) and the Flexitest on the same laboratory visit. The SRT evaluates components of musculoskeletal function by assessing the subject's ability to sit and rise from the floor, which was scored from 0 to 5, with 1 point being subtracted from 5 for each support used (hand/knee). The subject's final SRT score, varying from 0 to 10, was obtained by adding the sitting and rising scores. The Flexitest evaluates the maximum passive range of motion of 20 body joint movements. For each one of the movements, there are five possible scores, 0-4, in a crescent mobility order. Adding the results of the 20 movements provides an overall flexibility score called the Flexindex (FLX).

Results: The SRT score differed when the Flexindex results were stratified into quartiles: 6-26, 27-35, 36-44, and 45-77 (P < 0.001). The SRT and Flexindex scores were moderately and positively associated (r = 0.296; P < 0.001). In addition, the subjects with an SRT score of 0 are less flexible for all 20 Flexitest movements than those scoring 10 are.

Conclusions: Although seemingly simple tasks, the actions of sitting and rising from the floor are also partially dependent on flexibility in male and female subjects of a wide age range. Future studies should explore the potential benefit of regular flexibility exercises for these actions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Body Height / physiology
  • Body Weight / physiology
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Physical Fitness / physiology
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Young Adult