Background: The "Timed up and go" test (TUG) is operationally simple and is associated with increased gait speed, balance, functional indices, overall declining health, and the
ability in activities of daily living. Although it fits in the evaluation of patients with chronic diseases, it is rarely applied in asymptomatic individuals. The aim of the study was to evaluate the
reliability of modified TUG to detect the decline of physical mobility related to advancing age of middle-aged women and asymptomatic elderly. Secondarily, we evaluated the correlation between TUG and
functional exercise capacity (FEC) obtained in Incremental Shuttle Walk Test (ISWT).
Methods: The sample of ninety-eight women (57 ± 10 years) was stratified into age range groups (e.g., 40-49, 50-59, 60-69 and ≥ 70 years). The exclusion criteria were a previous
medical diagnosis of heart disease, lung disease and/or musculoskeletal problems. Participants performed three TUG tests, two ISWT, three 10m walk tests, and tasks of the Berg Balance Scale (BBS). We
subject to analysis the best time of the three TUG tests, the distance in meters achieved in the second ISWT and the average of three 10m walk tests in consecutive m/s. The only modification of the
original TUG was the instruction to the participants, "as soon as possible”. We assess age-related changes in the TUG by one-way ANOVA analysis with the test Tukey post hoc to identify differences in
the mean values of the TUG between age groups. The reliability of TUG was evaluated by intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and its confidence interval of 95% (CI95%). In the subgroup, we
evaluated the correlations between the TUG, the 10m speed, BBS, and ISWT by using the Pearson correlation coefficient. We performed multiple linear regression to assess the ability of TUG to predict
the FEC (e.g., ISWT). The probability of alpha error was set at 5%.
Results: Participants aged ≥ 70 performed worse in the TUG when compared to participants of 40-49 and 50-59 years. The test modification can justify the difference in performance
between individuals of the same age from ours and other studies, as the performance of our participants was better. Regarding the use of the modified test, we observed a decline in performance in the
TUG with advancing age, as aforesaid. The ICC obtained was excellent between the 1st and 2nd TUG and between 2nd and 3rd, demonstrating the excellent reliability of TUG in this age group. In the
subgroup, TUG correlated significantly (p <0.05) with ISWT (r = -0.72), the 10m speed (r = -0.54) and BBS (r = -0.58). Multiple linear regression analysis showed the TUG (R2 = 0.517) and the 10m speed
(R2 = 0.083) as determinants of FEC. Although the reduction of muscle strength and function occurs simultaneously as a result of the aging process, reduced functional capacity can be detected before,
which confirms the clinical relevance of the use of field tests for this purpose.
Conclusions: The modified TUG to asymptomatic women is reliable. Thus, it is able to assess the decline of physical mobility with advancing age.