Determining normative values of the 4-step stair climb task as a measure of muscular power in older adults

There are currently many assessments available to determine frailty in the older adult, one of them being a stair climb task. The purpose of this study is to determine relationships between stair climb power, using a 4-step stair climb task, and other measures of fitness in community living older adults, and to create discriminating quartiles for the 4-step stair climb to identify frailty. A convenience sample of independent living older adults were recruited from various community events in Stanislaus County and asked to complete a 4-step stair climb task as well as other accepted measures of physical fitness. Stair climb times had the strongest relationship with the chair stand test and the 8 Foot Up and Go test. Also, stair climb times tended to be faster in men compared to women, and tended to increase with age. However, there was less than 50% agreement between participant’s performance in the stair climb task and the other accepted measures.