Timed Up and Go: Reference data for children who are school age

The purpose of this study was to collect normative data for the Timed Up and Go (TUG) on a large, diverse sample of urban school children who are typically developing, accounting for age, sex, and body mass index.

Physical therapists administered the TUG with natural walking speeds on 1481 children (M = 635, F = 846), ages 5 to 13 years representing 29.60% whites, 24.2% Asian/Pacific Islanders, 19.7% Latino/Hispanics, 16.3% African Americans, 1.40% Native American/Alaskans, and 8.80% other.

The average TUG speeds ranged from 6.20 to 7.12 seconds across all ages, with speeds decreasing from 5 to 9 years and increasing from 9 to 13 years. Differences between 8-, 9-, and 11-year-old males and females and across age groups did not exceed a clinically important threshold. Body mass index was not consistently correlated with TUG speed.

This study provides reference data on the TUG. These data should complement clinical observations and additional tests and measures to determine whether a student is functioning slower than age-matched peers.