Older adults with weaker muscle strength stand up from a sitting position with more dynamic trunk use

Rob C. van Lummel*, Jordi Evers, Martijn Niessen, Peter J. Beek, Jaap H. van Dieën

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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The ability to stand up from a sitting position is essential for older adults to live independently. Body-fixed inertial sensors may provide an approach for quantifying the sit-to-stand (STS) in clinical settings. The aim of this study was to determine whether measurements of STS movements using body-fixed sensors yield parameters that are informative regarding changes in STS performance in older adults with reduced muscle strength. In twenty-seven healthy older adults, handgrip strength was assessed as a proxy for overall muscle strength. Subjects were asked to stand up from a chair placed at three heights. Trunk movements were measured using an inertial sensor fixed to the back. Duration, angular range, and maximum angular velocity of STS phases, as well as the vertical velocity of the extension phase, were calculated. Backwards elimination using Generalized Estimating Equations was used to determine if handgrip strength predicted the STS durations and trunk kinematics. Weaker subjects (i.e., with lower handgrip strength) were slower during the STS and showed a larger flexion angular range and a larger extension angular range. In addition, weaker subjects showed a greater maximum angular velocity, which increased with lower seat heights. Measurements with a single inertial sensor did reveal that older adults with lower handgrip strength employed a different strategy to stand up from a sitting position, involving more dynamic use of the trunk. This effect was greatest when elevating body mass. Trunk kinematic parameters were more sensitive to reduced muscle strength than durations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1235
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 17 Apr 2018


  • Accelerometers
  • Chair stand
  • Gyroscopes
  • Inertial sensors
  • Physical function
  • Physical performance test
  • Sit to stand transfer
  • Wearables


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