Clinicians commonly use questionnaires and tests based on daily life activities to evaluate physical function. However, the outcomes are usually more qualitative than quantitative and subtle differences are not detectable. In this review, we aim to assess the role of body motion sensors in physical performance evaluation, especially for the sit-to-stand and stand-to-sit transitions. In total, 53 full papers and conference abstracts on related topics were included and different parameters related to transition performance were identified as potentially meaningful to explain certain disabilities and impairments. Transition duration is the most used to evaluate chair-related tests in real clinical settings. High-fall-risk fallers and frail subjects presented longer and more variable 15 transition duration. Other kinematic parameters have also been 16 highlighted in the literature as potential means to detect age related impairments. In particular, vertical linear velocity and trunk tilt range were able to differentiate between different frailty levels. Frequency domain measures such as spectral edge frequency were also higher for elderly fallers. Lastly, approximate entropy values were larger for subjects with Parkinson's disease and were significantly reduced after treatment. This information could help clinicians in their evaluations as well as in prescribing a physical fitness program to correct a specific deficit.