Balance Testing

Balance is the ability to maintain equilibrium when stationary or moving (i.e. not to fall over) through the co-ordinated actions of our sensory functions (vision, hearing and proprioception).

Balance comprises of static balance (the ability to retain the centre of mass above the base of support in a stationary position) and dynamic balance (the ability to maintain balance under changing conditions of body movement).

Timed up and go test:



The Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT) is a dynamic test that requires strength, flexibility, and proprioception. It is a measure of dynamic balance that provides a significant challenge to athletes and physically active individuals.

The test can be used to assess physical performance, but can also be used to screen deficits in dynamic postural control due to musculoskeletal injuries (e.g. chronic ankle instability), to identify athletes at greater risk for lower extremity injury, as well as during the rehabilitation of orthopedic injuries in healthy active adults (1)

Research has suggested to use this test as a screening tool for sport participation as well as a post-rehabilitation test to ensure dynamic functional symmetry. 

Figure (physiopedia)


How to perform The SEBT:

Conducting the Test (science for sport)

  1. The athlete should be wearing lightweight clothing and remove their footwear. After doing so, they are the required to stand in the centre of the star, and await further instruction.
  2. When using the right foot as the reaching foot, and the left leg to balance, the athlete should complete the circuit in a clockwise fashion. When balancing on the right leg, the athlete should perform the circuit in an anti-clockwise fashion.
  3. With their hands firmly placed on their hips, the athlete should then be instructed to reach with one foot as far as possible and lightly touch the line before returning back to the starting upright position.
  4. With a pencil, the test administrator should mark the spot at which the athlete touched the line with their toe. This can then be measured from the centre spot after the test to calculate the reach distance of each reach direction. Reach distances should be recorded to the nearest 0.5cm (22).
  5. They should then repeat this with the same foot for all reach directions before changing foot.
  6. After they have completed a full circuit (every reach direction) with each foot, they should then repeat this process for a total of three times per leg. For example, they should have three anterior reach performances for both their right and left leg.
  7. Once the athlete has performed 3 successful reaches with each foot in all directions, they are then permitted to step away from the testing area.
  8. The test administrator should have recorded the reach distance of each successful attempt, with a pencil, in order to calculate the athlete’s SEBT score after the test.

Scoring System

With the test complete and all performances measured and recorded, the test administrator can then calculate the athlete’s SEBT performance scores using the following simple equations:

  • Average distance in each direction (cm) = Reach 1 + Reach 2 + Reach 3 / 3
  • Relative (normalised) distance in each direction (%) = Average distance in each direction / leg length * 100

These calculations should be performed for both the right and left leg in each direction, providing you with a total of 16 scores per athlete.


Normative data

Figure ( Miller, T., 2012).



  1. According to Hertel, Miller, and Deneger (2000), the reliability of the SEBT ranges between r = 0.85-0.96
  2. According to Plisky et al (2006), the reliability of this test ranges between 0.82-0.87 and scores 0.99 for the measurement of limb length
  3. Chaiwanichsiri et al (2005) concluded that the Star Excursion Balance training was more effective than a conventional therapy program in improving functional stability of a sprained ankle
  4. Plisky et al (2009) concluded that the intra-rater reliability of the SEBT as being moderate to good (ICC 0.67- 0.97) and inter-rater reliability as being poor to good (0.35-0.93)[2]