The "get-up and go test" requires patients to stand up from a chair, walk a short distance, turn around, return, and sit down again. This test was conducted in 40 elderly patients with a range of balance function. Tests were recorded on video tapes, which were viewed by groups of observers from different medical backgrounds. Balance function was scored on a five-point scale. The same patients underwent laboratory tests of gait and balance. There was agreement among observers on the subjective scoring of the clinical test, and good correlation with laboratory tests. The get-up and go test proved to be a satisfactory clinical measure of balance in elderly people.