1 in 4 adults aged 65+ will fall this year. Don’t be one of them. Nobody has time for that. There are several factors that go into improving your chances of avoiding a fall. Lower body strength is high on the list. In my group fitness classes, and in my 1:1 and small group personal training, improving lower body strength is a big focus. Each month we do the 30 second sit-to-stand test to assess improvement. I’m incredibly happy to see folks raise their hands when I ask if anyone has shown improvement since the prior month. It is indeed a proud momma moment. An example is Nancy, age early 80s, who has been attending my group classes for 2 months. She went from not being able to do a single sit-to-stand to doing eleven (11).
What is the 30 second sit to stand test?
Developed by physiotherapists at the California State University in Fullerton, the 30 second sit-to-stand test is part of the Fullerton Fitness Test which measures physical fitness abilities. The Sit To Stand Test was developed to measure functional lower body strength & endurance. The stronger your lower body is, the lower the risk of a fall.
How to do the 30 second sit to stand test
Sit in a sturdy chair with a straight back and no armrests. Make sure the chair is stable on the ground and won’t slide. Ask someone to time you with a stopwatch.
- Sit towards the front of the chair
- Fold your arms across your chest, making an X
- Put your feet flat on the floor & sit up straight
- When you are given the signal “Go” you start your sit-to-stands until you hear the “Stop” command
- Rise from the chair to a full standing position without using your hands. Sit back down. Repeat as many times as you can for 30 seconds. Count your stands as you go.
- If you are half-way up when the timer ends, that counts as a “stand”
How DID You do?
Find your age and gender on the chart. If you performed the same number (or greater) of stands listed in the column, your risk of falling is lower than others your age. If you were able to perform fewer than the average number of stands, your fall risk is higher.
Increasing your lower body strength and endurance will help you lower risk of falls.
Our bodies are amazing and can quickly respond to exercise and training. Get started NOW on improving your functional strength and endurance. Find a group class led by a senior fitness specialist in your area, consult with a physical therapist for home exercises, hire a certified personal trainer who specializes in working with senior adults. If you are in the Franklin, KY area, I lead 3 group classes a week and I am accepting new personal training clients. Information about my group classes can be found on my website under the header “Training with Jen”.
Stay HEALTHY, Be STRONG, GET AFTER IT!