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Sit & Reach Test

Testing and measurement are the means of collecting information upon which subsequent performance evaluations and decisions are made. In the analysis, we need to consider factors influencing the results.


This test aims to monitor the development of the athlete's lower back and hamstring flexibility.

Required Resources

To conduct this test, you will require:

  • Box
  • Metre Ruler
  • Tape
  • Assistant

How to conduct the test

The Sit and Reach Test is conducted as follows:

  • The athlete warms up for 10 minutes and then removes their shoes
  • The assistant secures the ruler to the box top with the tape so that the front edge of the box lines up with the 15cm (6 inches) mark on the ruler, and the zero end of the ruler points towards the athlete
  • The athlete sits on the floor with their legs fully extended with the bottom of their bare feet against the box
  • The athlete places one hand on top of the other, slowly bends forward and reaches along the top of the ruler as far as possible, holding the stretch for two seconds
  • The assistant records the distance reached by the athlete's fingertips (cm)
  • The athlete performs the test three times
  • The assistant calculates and records the average of the three distances and uses this value to assess the athlete's performance
Sit and Reach


The following normative data is available for this test.

The following table is for 16 to 19-year-olds (Davis et al. 2000, p. 126)[1]:

Gender Excellent Above average Average Below average Poor
Male >14 14.0 - 11.0 10.9 - 7.0 6.9 - 4.0 <4
Female >15 15.0 - 12.0 11.9 - 7.0 6.9 - 4.0 <4

For evaluating the athlete's performance, select the gender, enter the best distance and then select the 'Calculate' button.

Gender Distance cm     Assessment


Analysis of the test result compares it with the athlete's previous results for this test. It is expected that the analysis would indicate an improvement in the athlete's flexibility with appropriate training between each test.

Target Group

This test is suitable for active individuals but not for those where the test would be contraindicated.


Test reliability refers to how a test is consistent and stable in measuring what it is intended to measure. Reliability will depend upon how strict the test is conducted and the individual's level of motivation to perform the test. The following link provides various factors influencing the results and test reliability.


Test validity refers to the degree to which the test measures what it claims to measure and the extent to which inferences, conclusions, and decisions based on test scores are appropriate and meaningful. This test provides a means to monitor training on the athlete's physical development.


  • Minimal equipment required
  • Simple to set up and conduct
  • Can be conducted almost anywhere


  • Specialist equipment required
  • Assistant required to administer the test


  1. DAVIS, B. et al. (2000) Physical Education and the study of sport, 4th ed. London: Harcourt Publishers.

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:

  • MACKENZIE, B. (2000) Sit and Reach Test [WWW] Available from: [Accessed