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Chair Sit and Reach Test



This test measures lower body flexibility, specially the hamstrings. It is associated with the lifestyle tasks of movement in and out of a vehicle, walking and climbing stairs, and also with a person's gait and posture.

Equipment required

ruler or tape measure,
straight back or folding chair (about 44 cm high).


Sit on the edge of the chair (placed against a wall for safety). One foot must remain flat on the floor. The other leg is extended forward with the knee straight, heel on the floor, and ankle bent at 90°.
Place one hand on top of the other with tips of the middle fingers flush.
Inhale, and then as you exhale, slowly reach forward toward the toes by bending at the hip. Keep the back straight and head up. Avoid bouncing or quick movements, and never stretch to the point of pain.
Keep the knee straight, and hold the reach for 2 seconds. If your knee bends, straighten your leg and start again.
The distance is measured between the tips of the fingertips and the toes. If the fingertips touch the toes then the score is zero. If they do not touch, measure the distance between the fingers and the toes (a negative score), if they overlap, measure by how much (a positive score). Record the measurement to the nearest 1 cm and which leg you performed the test.
Repeat the test 2 times on each leg.


This test should not be done if you have severe osteoporosis.





1. Różańska-Kirschke A., Kocur P., Wilk M., Dylewicz P.: The Fullerton Fitness Test as an index of fitness in the elderly, Medical Rehabilitation 2006, 10(2): 9-16.
2. Jones C.J., Rikli R.E.: Measuring functional fitness of older adults. The Journal on Active Aging, March April 2002, pp. 24–30.
3. Jones C.J., Rikli R.E., Max J., Noffal G.: The Reliability and Validity of a Chair Sit-and-Reach Test as a Measure of Hamstring Flexibility in Older Adults. ea& Cluarterly for Exercise and Sport. Res Q Exercise Sport. 1998, 69(4): 338-343.