Timed up and go (TUG) test: Normative reference values for ages 20 to 59 years and relationships with physical and mental health risk factors

Breelan M. Kear, Thomas P. Guck, Amy L. McGaha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Purpose: The Timed Up and Go (TUG) test is a reliable, cost-effective, safe, and time-efficient way to evaluate overall functional mobility. However, the TUG does not have normative reference values (NRV) for individuals younger than 60 years. The purpose of this study was to establish NRV for the TUG for individuals aged between 20 and 59 years and to examine the relationship between the TUG and demographic, physical, and mental health risk factors. Methods: Two hundred participants, 50 per decade (ages 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59 years) were selected at their primary care visit, and timed as they performed the TUG by standing up out of a chair, walking 3 m, turning around, walking back to the chair, and sitting down. Information regarding the risk factors socioeconomic status, body mass index, an index of multimorbidities, perceptions of overall physical and mental health was obtained and used as predictors of TUG time independent of age. Results: TUG times were significantly different among the decades (F = 6.579, P =.001) with slower times occurring with the 50-year-old decade compared with the 20s (P =.001), 30s (P =.001), and 40s (P =.020). Slower TUG times were associated with lower SES, higher body mass index, more medical comorbidities, and worse perceived physical and mental health. Regression results indicated that perceived physical and mental health accounted for unique variance in the prediction of TUG time beyond age, gender, and socioeconomic status. Conclusions: This study provided TUG NRV for adults in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s. The TUG may have utility for primary care providers as they assess and monitor physical activity in younger adults, especially those with physical and mental health risk factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-13
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Primary Care and Community Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Community and Home Care
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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