Required basic personal informations for testing:

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Back Scratch Test



The Back Scratch Test measures how close the hands can be brought together behind the back, so provides an indication of the general shoulder range of motion, and the upper body and shoulder flexibility. It is associated with lifestyle activities such as getting dressed, reaching for objects and putting on a car seat belt.

Requiered equipment

ruler or a yardstick or a tape measure


Perform this test in the standing position.
Place one hand behind the head and back over the shoulder, and reach as far as possible down the middle of your back, your palm touching your body and the fingers pointing downwards.
Place the other arm behind your back, palm facing outward and fingers pointing upward and reach up as far as possible, attempting to touch or overlap the middle fingers of both hands.
An assistant is required to direct you so that the fingers are aligned, and to measure the distance between the tips of the middle fingers.
If the fingertips touch then the score is zero. If they do not touch, the assistant should measure the distance between the finger tips (a negative score), if they overlap, than measure by how much (a positive score). Practice two times wiht the arms in opposite positions to determine the preferreed side for reaching over the shoulder, and then test two times. Record the best score to the nearest centimeter.

Safety issues

Stop the test if you experience pain.





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.