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Minerva Pediatr. 2010 Aug;62(4):353-61.

Intervening factors in forward flexibility of the trunk in adolescents in sitting and standing position.

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Physiotherapy Service, Department of Neurological Science, Medical School of São José do Rio Preto, FAMERP, São José do Rio Preto, San Paolo, Brazil.



Forward flexibility of the trunk (FFT) is used as an indicator of vertebral function and assessed using the sit-and-reach and fingertip-ground tests.


FFT was investigated in adolescents and comparisons were made among genders, sitting and standing positions, and low and high speed; 102 males and females (16 to 20 years of age) participated in the study.


The position of the body and gender factor had no influence over the flexibility assessment. When executed slowly, the values obtained in the test were significantly lower; 60% of the participants were unable to reach their feet in the slow form and 50% were unable to reach their feet in the fast form. Thus, the assessment of vertebral function in adolescents should not use the ability to reach their feet as a criterion of normality. The fingertip-ground and sit-and-reach tests proved to be equally adequate. Greater height and length of limbs are associated to lower FFT values. Greater height and lower trunk-head height explain the lesser FFT in women; greater length of the lower limbs and lesser arm span explain the results for men.


Reaching the feet in either the standing or sitting position is a criterion that excludes approximately 50% of adolescents from the normality of vertebral function, whereas reaching 12 cm above the ground is achieved by 90% of the population. Therefore, the criteria for assessing FFT in adolescents need to be reviewed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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