Background and Purpose: The Five Times Sit to Stand Test (FTSST) has been established as a valid and reliable functional measure for older adults. Norms have been clearly defined for community-dwelling older adults and can be useful in the identification of mobility decline and prediction of future disability. However, because of the high rates of inactivity in the population of community-dwelling older adults, it seems inappropriate to compare high-functioning older adults, for example, senior athletes, to these norms. With trends showing increased senior athlete participation, new norms may be necessary to appropriately evaluate this population of older adults. The purpose of this study was to (1) compare results of the FTSST in senior athletes older than 60 years to norms for community-dwelling adults of the same age (2) determine the effects of age, gender, and sport intensity on FTSST performance in senior athletes, and (3) establish norms appropriate for this population of interest.
Methods: The FTSST was performed on 276 (104 men, 172 women) senior athletes age 50 to 91 years (mean age = 64.9, SD = 15) reporting an average of 4 hours of cardiovascular training and 1 hour of strength training each week. All were actively engaged in national or state senior game competitions.
Results: All participants were able to complete the test. One hundred ninety-four participants between 60 and 89 years of age showed significantly faster times than currently reported norms. Performance was negatively associated with age, but did not differ significantly between genders. Participants in more physically demanding sports did show the best FTSST times, although athletes engaged in more leisure sports still outperformed norms for community-dwelling seniors.
Conclusion: Senior athletes show significantly greater FTSST speed than norms derived from community-dwelling older adults. New normative guidelines are presented to assist the screening of these athletes on this functional performance measure.