The Gallon Jug Shelf Transfer Test

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



The GJST, developed by Signorile et al. (1) for older adults, is a performance-based assessment of power during tasks requiring transfer of moderately heavy objects — a requisite function during the safe performance of many activities of daily living (ADL) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) (1–3). Please refer to the sidebar for definitions of ADL and IADL. Because of age-related declines in neuromuscular power, tasks requiring lifting, carrying, reaching, and placing objects can become difficult and, in some cases, not possible for some older adults (1,3,4,11). According to Signorile and colleagues (1), the GJST has been determined a valid and reliable instrument that correlates with other accepted test measures like the 30-second arm curl and 30-second chair stand, which are associated with effective object transfer. “It can discriminate between trained and untrained participants across a large age range and is responsive to training interventions used to address functional decline in older adults” (1). More recently, Castillo and colleagues (3) developed a regression equation to quantify the mechanical power of older adults during the performance of the GJST. They determined the GJST to be a valid reliable instrument that correlates with the seated medicine ball throw (SMBT) and dominant arm chest press (DACP) tests, both associated with upper body power (3,12). The SMBT and the DACP tests, however, lack biomechanical specificity, and neither measures the functional power for older adults during the transfer of an object commonly encountered during daily tasks (3). The GJST is short and relatively easy to administer. Figure 1 depicts the GJST. Please refer to digital video content file #1 for a demonstration of proper administration and execution of the GJST.


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ACSM'S Health & Fitness Journal






Wolters Kluwer