The reliability and validity of a chair sit-and-reach test as a measure of hamstring flexibility in older adults

Res Q Exerc Sport. 1998 Dec;69(4):338-43. doi: 10.1080/02701367.1998.10607708.


The purpose of this study was to examine the test-retest reliability and the criterion validity of a newly developed chair sit-and-reach (CSR) test as a measure of hamstring flexibility in older adults CSR performance was also compared to sit-and-reach (SR) and back-saver sit-and-reach (BSR) measures of hamstring flexibility. To estimate reliability, 76 men and women (M age = 70.5 years) performed the CSR on 2 different days, 2-5 days apart. In the validity phase of the study, scores of 80 men and women (M age = 74.2 years) were obtained on three field test measures of hamstring flexibility (CSR, SR, and BSR) and on a criterion test (goniometer measurement of a passive straight-leg raise). Results indicate that the CSR has good intraclass test-retest reliability (R = .92 for men; r = .96 for women), and has a moderate-to-good relationship with the criterion measure (r = .76 for men; r = .81 for women). The criterion validity of the CSR for the male and female participants is comparable to that of the SR (r = .74 and r = .71, respectively) and BSR (r = .70 and r = .71, respectively). Results indicate that the CSR test produces reasonably accurate and stable measures of hamstring flexibility. In addition, it appears that the CSR is a safe and socially acceptable alternative to traditional floor sit-and-reach tests as a measure of hamstring flexibility in older adults.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / anatomy & histology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Observer Variation
  • Posture / physiology*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Safety
  • Tendons / physiology
  • Thigh / physiology*