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.
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.
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.
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.
1Department of Physical Therapy, School of Health Sciences, University of South Dakota, Vermillion.
2Physician Assistant Studies, School of Health Sciences, University of South Dakota, Vermillion.
Address correspondence to: Becca Jordre, PT, DPT, GCS, Cert MDT, Department of Physical Therapy, School of Health Sciences, University of South Dakota, 414 E. Clark St, Vermillion SD 57069(Becca.Jordre@usd.edu).
Conflicts of Interest and Source of Funding: This research was supported by the Physical Therapy Department at the University of South Dakota as well as a grant from the University of South Dakota Center for Teaching and Learning. Student researchers Adam Ladwig, Kate Beacom, and Vashti Graphenteen had their airfare to the National Senior Games paid by the National Center for Senior Health and Fitness, which is the foundation associated with the National Senior Games Association. There is a signed Memorandum of Understanding between (1) the University of South Dakota, Department of Physical Therapy, (2) The National Senior Games Association, and (3) The National Center for Senior Health and Fitness for purposes of research collaboration, which is not associated with any exchange of financial resources.