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Phys Ther. 2002 Sep;82(9):866-79.

Determinants of the sit-to-stand movement: a review.

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Department of Rehabilitation, University Hospital Rotterdam, Dr Molewaterplein 40, 3015 GD Rotterdam, the Netherlands.



The sit-to-stand (STS) movement is a skill that helps determine the functional level of a person. Assessment of the STS movement has been done using quantitative and semiquantitative techniques. The purposes of this study were to identify the determinants of the STS movement and to describe their influence on the performance of the STS movement.


A search was made using MEDLINE (1980-2001) and the Science Citation Index Expanded of the Institute for Scientific Information (1988-2001) using the key words "chair," "mobility," "rising," "sit-to-stand," and "standing." Relevant references such as textbooks, presentations, and reports also were included. Of the 160 identified studies, only those in which the determinants of STS movement performance were examined using an experimental setup (n=39) were included in this review.


The literature indicates that chair seat height, use of armrests, and foot position have a major influence on the ability to do an STS movement. Using a higher chair seat resulted in lower moments at knee level (up to 60%) and hip level (up to 50%); lowering the chair seat increased the need for momentum generation or repositioning of the feet to lower the needed moments. Using the armrests lowered the moments needed at the hip by 50%, probably without influencing the range of motion of the joints. Repositioning of feet influenced the strategy of the STS movement, enabling lower maximum mean extension moments at the hip (148.8 N m versus 32.7 N m when the foot position changed from anterior to posterior).


The ability to do an STS movement, according to the research reviewed, is strongly influenced by the height of the chair seat, use of armrests, and foot position. More study of the interaction among the different determinants is needed. Failing to account for these variables may lead to erroneous measurements of changes in STS performance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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