Sit and Reach (Si&R)

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1. Test objective

The goal is to determine the stretching ability of the posterior back and leg muscles to quantify overall trunk flexibility.

2. Description of the task

In the Sit & Reach test, the test person sits in a long seat and tries to bend the upper body forward as far as possible with the knees fully extended. The test measures how far the subject's fingertips reach under the soles of his feet while sitting with his legs stretched out. The maximum end position must be held for at least 2 seconds.

3. Test materials

 3.1 Space requirements: 2 m2
 3.2 Time and personal requirements: 1 test leader can test 1 test person within 2 minutes
 3.3 Equipment and materials: A simplified implementation is possible with a horizontal, wall-mounted, meter measure. For a more precise measurement, special measuring devices are required.

4. Test setup

A board with a centimeter scale is attached to a specially made wooden box, which also displays values below and above the sole level. The zero point is directly at the edge of the box. Behind the edge of the box the scale is positive, in front of it it is negative.
The test person sits on the floor without shoes with legs stretched forward and places the soles of the feet against the crate. If only a normal crate is available, it is placed directly against a wall to which the measurement scale is attached.

5. Measurement recording

For the quantitative measurement, the distance to the sole level is recorded. The scale value is read at the furthest point that the fingertips of both hands touch. The distance is measured to the nearest 0.1 cm. Note that the scale is positive behind the sole level and negative in front of it. Two passes are completed. The result is usually better on the second pass due to pre-stretching.

Standard values
Information on norms is provided by Morrow and colleagues (1995) and Bös and colleagues (2009), among others.

6. Test instruction

In this task we want to examine the flexibility of the hip joints. Sit down so that the soles of your feet touch the wall of the box with the whole foot. Now slowly bend forward and push both hands forward as far as you can. It is very important that you keep your knee joints extended.

7. Special notes

When comparing measured values, it must be taken into account whether the sole level is taken as the basis for the measurement (then there are positive and negative values) or whether other scales are used. Common are scales that start below the sole level and show only positive values (cf. Eurofit, 1993).
Slow, non-jerky exercise execution and do not take momentum.
The extension of the knees is tested tactilely by the experimenter guiding the knees of the test participant to the floor or pressing them down slightly.
A maximum position is only scored if it can be held for at least two seconds.
The exercise should be performed without shoes.

Sources of error
The test person goes forward with momentum and immediately leaves the maximum stretch position.

8. Sources

Bös, K., Schlenker, L., Büsch, D., Lämmle, L., Müller, H., Oberger, J., Seidel, I., Tittlbach, S. (2009). Deutscher Motorik-Test 6-18 (DMT 6-18). Hamburg: Czwalina.

Hoeger, W. W., Hopkins, D. R., Button, S. & Palmer, T. A. (1990). Comparing the sit and reach with the modified sit and reach in measuring flexibility in adolescents. Pediatric Exercise Science, 2 (2), 156–162.

Morrow, J.R., Jackson, A.W., Disch, J.G. & Mood, D.P. (1995). Measurement and evaluation in human performance. Champaign: Human Kinetics.

Wells, K. F. & Dillon, E. K. (1952). The sit and reach test: A test of back and leg flexibility. Research Quarterly, 23 (1),115–118.

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