Use of sit-to-stand test to assess the physical capacity and exertional desaturation in patients post COVID-19

Chron Respir Dis. 2021 Jan-Dec:18:1479973121999205. doi: 10.1177/1479973121999205.


We propose the use of the 1-minute sit-to-stand test (1STST) to evaluate the physical capacity and exertional desaturation one month after discharge in a sample of patients who survived COVID-19 pneumonia. This was a cross-sectional study that collected routine data from consecutive patients admitted to the outpatient program in a public hospital in Chile. Patients were asked to complete a 1STST. Data were analyzed according to those with and without a prolonged hospital stay of >10 days. Eighty-three percent of the patients were able to complete the test (N = 50). The median age was 62.7 ± 12.5 years. The average number of repetitions in the 1STST was 20.9 ± 4.8. Thirty-two percent of patients had a decrease in pulse oxygen saturation (SpO2) ≥ 4 points. The prolonged hospital stay subgroup had a significant increase in exertional desaturation (mean difference = 2.6; 95% CI = 1.2 to 3.9; p = 0.001) and dyspnea (mean difference = 1.1; 95% CI = 0.4 to 2.1; p = 0.042) compared to the group of length of stay ≤10 days. In-hospital survivors of COVID-19, the 1STST showed a decrease in physical capacity at one month in those 90% who were able to complete it. The 1STST was able to discriminate between those with and without a prolonged hospital stay and was able to detect exertional desaturation in some patients.

Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; coronavirus disease 2019; functional capacity; rehabilitation.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 / epidemiology
  • COVID-19 / physiopathology
  • COVID-19 / rehabilitation*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Exercise Test / methods*
  • Exercise Tolerance / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pandemics
  • Retrospective Studies
  • SARS-CoV-2*