Everything about Chair Sit And Reach Test

Purpose of Chair Sit And Reach Test 

The main purpose of the chair sit and reach test is to measure the lower body flexibility. But it is more specifically used to measure the hamstring’s flexibility. This test is a variation of the Sit and Reach test.

Hence, lower body flexibility is essential for restricting lower back pain. It is associated with an individual’s lifestyle activities like his walking pattern, stair climbing pattern, and also his gait and posture. Chair sit and reach test is generally performed in senior citizens like those who are above 60 years of age.

Equipment Required for Chair Sit and Reach Test

1 – Ruler or Measuring tape.

2 – Straight back or Folding chair with a seat height of ( 17 inches/ 44 cm).

Pre-test Evaluations

Explain the procedure to the subject before performing the test. Perform screening of health dangers and collect informed consent. Prepare forms and document basic details like age, height, sex, body weight.


Procedure for performing the chair sit and reach test

  • The participant will sit on the edge of the chair (Make sure that chair won’t tip forward or slide back).
  • One foot must stay flat on the floor. Another leg is extended forward with the knee straight, the heel on the floor, and the ankle flexed at 90°.
  • Put one hand on top of another and make sure that their middle fingers are even.
  • Instruct the subject to inhale, then as they exhale, reach forward toward the toes by bending at the hip. Keep the back straight it should not be bend or flexed and head up.
  • Avoid bouncing or rapid movements, and never extend to the point of pain. Keep the knee straight, and maintain the reach for 2 seconds.
  • Now it is the administrator’s responsibility to measure the distance between your fingertips and your toes.
  • If they are not able to touch their toes, Measure the distance from their toes to their fingertips and that would be a negative score.  If the participant is able to go past their toes, then the score would be positive. And if the fingertips touch the toes, then the score will be zero.

image describing chair sit and reach test

  • Record the measurement or score to the nearest 1 cm or 1/2 inch, and also record which leg was used for the measurement.
  • Perform this same procedure on another leg and after performing the test procedure on both the legs. Find out which leg is more flexible? You can find out this by looking at the scores scored by each leg. Hence out of both the legs, the leg whose score is more positive will be considered more flexible.
  • After finding out which leg is more flexible, Perform two trials on that leg, as shown in the video below.

YouTube video

Target Population for Chair Sit and Reach Test

Normally it can be performed on anyone, but this test is mostly performed on people above 60 years of age (senior citizens).

Contraindications for Chair Sit and Reach Test

Do not perform the test if the subject is suffering from severe osteoporosis.

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Other Related Test

Muscle Power Grading / Muscle Strength Testing

Sit And Reach Test

Eight Foot Up And Go Test

Manual Muscle Testing

Lower Trapezius Manual Muscle Test

Sacroiliac Joint Tests

Mennell’s Sign / Mennell’s Test – Used to assess degenerative processes in the sacroiliac joint.

Springing Test – To detect functional impairment in the Thoracic & Lumbar spine & Sacroiliac Joint.

Gaenslen’s Test – To detect any pathology or dysfunction around the sacroiliac joint.

Test/ Standing Forward Flexion Test – To assess sacroiliac joint dysfunction.

Faber Test / Patrick’s Test – Used to assess the pathology or dysfunction at the hip joint, muscles around the hip joint, and at the sacroiliac joint.

Cervical Exams

Cervical Flexion Compression Test –  To identify if there is a Herniated disk in the Cervical spine.

Jackson Compression Test –  To Detect Cervical Radiculopathy (Cervical Nerve Root Compression).

Pelvic Ligament Tests – used for the assessment of the pelvic ligaments.

Supported Forward Bend Test (Belt Test) – helps in differentiating lumbar pain and sacroiliac pain.

Adam’s Forward Bend Test – For detecting the presence of scoliosis (either functional or structural).

Noble Compression Test / Noble Test –  To assess pain coming from iliotibial band syndrome.

Neer Test –  For detecting the presence of shoulder impingement syndrome.

Some Other Test

Subscapularis Test – Indicates the rupture of the subscapularis muscle

Lowenberg Test – For Detecting Early sign of Venous Thrombosis

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