The journal of nutrition, health & aging

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 319–323 | Cite as

Does chair type influence outcome in the timed “up and go” test in older persons?

  • Sebastiana Z. Kalula
  • G. H. Swingler
  • A. A. Sayer
  • M. Badri
  • M. Ferreira



To test the effects of the use of a collapsible, portable chair (chair B), as opposed to a ‘standard’ chair (chair A), on the outcome of the timed “Up and Go” (TUG) test.




Multipurpose senior centres.


Mobile older persons (N= 118, mean age 77 years (range 62–99 years)).

Outcome measures

Time to complete the timed “Up and Go” test using chair A and chair B, and inter-rater agreement in the time scores.


Time taken to complete the TUG test did not differ by chair type [median (interquartile range, IQR) = 12.3 (9.53–15.9) and 12.6 (9.7–16.6)] seconds for Chair A and B respectively, p-value=0.87. In multiple regression analyses, factors that impacted on time difference in test performance for the two chairs were use of a walking aid during the test [Odds ratio (OR) = 3.7 95%CI 1.1–11.9, p=0.031], observed difficulty with mobility (OR= 27.7 95%CI 2.6–290, p=0.006), and a history of arthritis in the knees (OR= 2.9 95%CI 1.0–8.7, P=0.05). In an inter-rater agreement analysis, no significant difference was found between time scores recorded by the two raters; median (IQR) = 12.4 (10.9–15.9) and 12.3 (7.2–59.1) seconds for the occupation therapist and for the research assistant, respectively (Wilcoxon matched pairs test, p=0.124, Spearman correlation coefficient = 0.99, p<0.001).


The use of a portable canvas chair with standardised specifications offers an acceptable alternative to the use of a ‘standard’ chair in assessments of fall risk using the TUG test in field settings where field workers are reliant on public transport.

Key words

Timed “Up and Go” test chair type inter-rater agreement falls older persons 


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Copyright information

© Serdi and Springer Verlag France 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sebastiana Z. Kalula
    • 1
    • 6
  • G. H. Swingler
    • 2
  • A. A. Sayer
    • 3
  • M. Badri
    • 4
  • M. Ferreira
    • 5
  1. 1.Division of Geriatric Medicine, The Albertina and Walter Sisulu Institute of Ageing in Africa, Department of MedicineUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa
  2. 2.School of Paediatrics and Child Health, Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa
  3. 3.MRC Epidemiology Resource CentreSouthampton General HospitalSouthamptonUK
  4. 4.Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa
  5. 5.International Longevity Centre South Africa, Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa
  6. 6.Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine, Institute of Ageing in AfricaUniversity of Cape TownObservatorySouth Africa

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