This is a useful validated test for assessing the falls risk in a person as it tests both static and dynamic balance.


Those living with frailty have an increased risk of falls and the British Geriatric Society (BGS) recognised the significance of the association between frailty and increased falls risk in their publication “Fit for Frailty” (Part 1).  The Timed Up and Go (TUG) Test is recommended as a tool for identifying frailty in both BGS Fit for Frailty and NICE guidelines on mulitmorbidity (NG56)  The NICE guideline recommends use of TUG test in hospital outpatient settings.

Like the gait speed test, the TUG Test has high sensitivity but low specificity for frailty, so any person with a positive TUG Test needs further comprehensive assessment to diagnose accurately the presence and severity of frailty.

The TUG Test is positive if a person takes more than 10 seconds to rise from a sitting position, walk 3 metres in a straight line (using any walking aid normally used), turn around, walk back and sit down again. In other countries, a cut-off time of 15 seconds is recommended.

The link to the BGS document “Fit for Frailty” (Part 1) guide is here, and the TUG Test reference can be found in the summary document in a section sub-titled ‘Simple assessments for identifying frailty’.

A video guide for the public explaining the Timed Up and Go test has been produced by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.


NICE has developed a medtech innovation briefing (MIB) on the Quantitative Timed Up and Go (QTUG).  The QTUG uses body-worn sensors and a mobile software app to assess mobility, falls risk and frailty during the standard Timed Up and Go (TUG) test. However, key uncertainties exist around the ability of QTUG to assess frailty as there is a lack of evidence to support this function of the device.  Further information is available here.