Minimal chair height standing ability is independently associated with falls in taiwanese older people

Marcella Mun San Kwan, Sang I. Lin, Ching Huey Chen, Jacqueline C. Close, Stephen R. Lord

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Kwan MM, Lin S-I, Chen C-H, Close JC, Lord SR. Minimal chair height standing ability is independently associated with falls in Taiwanese older people. Objective: To determine whether a test of minimal chair height standing (MCHS) ability is an important predictor of fall risk in community-dwelling older people living in Taiwan, and whether poor performance in this test is associated with impaired sensorimotor functioning, balance, and mobility in this group. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Community based. Participants: Community-dwelling participants (N=280; mean age, 74.9y). Interventions: Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures: The MCHS test, which measures the lowest height from which a participant can stand; the Physiological Profile Assessment (PPA); and a range of functional balance and mobility tests. Results: In the 12 months before the study, 81 participants (28.9%) experienced 1 or more falls. The fallers had significantly higher MCHS scores compared with the nonfallers: 29.7±9.0 and 25.0± 9.2cm, respectively. Fallers also had significantly higher PPA fall risk scores than nonfallers and performed significantly worse in tests of reaction time, standing and leaning balance, and alternate stepping ability. Discriminant function analysis revealed that poor performance in the MCHS and high PPA scores were both independently and significantly associated with falls. These 2 variables correctly classified 64.5% of participants into faller and nonfaller groups. Participants who reported regular squatting performed significantly better in the MCHS test, and multiple regression analysis revealed that impaired knee extension strength, poor single-leg stance ability, and reduced leaning balance were independent predictors of poor MCHS. Conclusions: In this study, MCHS was an independent risk factor for falls. It is a functional test similar to deep squatting and underpinned by strength and balance. Because the MCHS is quick to administer, it may have scope for clinical application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1080-1085
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jul

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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