Timed Up and Go (TUG) Test

Assessing Balance and Fall Risk

As a physician or other health-care provider, you know that the results of a fall in an older adult can be devastating. One in three adults over the age of 65 falls each year and less than half of these incidents are reported to a health-care provider.  In 2010, the medical costs associated with falls exceeded $30 billion.

The Timed Up and Go (TUG) Test  is a quick, easy and reliable tool to assess your patients’ balance and risk for falls. The only items of equipment required to perform the test are a chair with arms and a stopwatch (or smartphone with timer). Patients wear their normal footwear and use their regular walking aids if they have any. 


  • Mark or identify a line 3 meters (9.8 feet) away from a standard armchair.  (You may use easy-to-see, colored tape.)
  • Begin by having the patient sit back in a standard arm chair. The upper extremities should not be placed on the assistive device, but it should be nearby within grasp.
  • Give the patient the following instructions: “When I say ‘Go,’ stand up and walk at a comfortable and safe pace to the line on the floor, turn, return to the chair and sit down again.” Demonstrate the test to the patient if needed.
  • Conduct the Test: On the word “go,” start timing. Stop timing after the patient’s buttocks have touched the chair.
  • Record the findings. 
  • Complete the test two times, if possible, and average the findings.


On average, older adults who take ≥ 12 seconds to complete the test are at high risk for falling. These patients may benefit from further intervention, such as balance and stabilityprograms, gait training on various surfaces, stair climbing and a strengthening program. Good Shepherd offers these services at all our of outpatient locations

Download a copy of the TUG Test instructions.

To schedule your patient at one of our outpatient locations or for more information on our services, call 1-888-44-REHAB or use this form to request an appointment. Questions? Contact us.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control

Centers for Disease Control and Preventions, Home and Recreational Safety