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Have difficulty climbing up 10 steps: Yes or no

Codes and Frequencies

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FLCLIMBYN reports if the person has difficulty climbing a flight of stairs, defined as walking up 10 steps, without resting. Please see Comparability and Universe tabs for changes in universe and question wording between samples.


In 1994 and 1995, this variable is part of the Disability Supplement (NHIS-D) that collects information on disability. NHIS-D included two household interviews: in Phase I all members of sample families were screened for any indication of disability; in Phase II persons with any indication of disability were followed-up for additional information. Phase I includes sensory, communication, and mobility problems; health conditions; activities of daily living and independent activities of daily living; functional limitations; mental health; services and benefits; special health needs of children; early child development; education; relationship to respondent; and perceived disability. Phase II includes four Disability Followback Survey (DFS) questionnaires: one for children, one for adults, one for elderly persons (69 years of age and over) without any indication of disability (also called the Supplement on Aging or SOA; only in 1994), and one for persons with a history of polio.

This variable is part of a series of variables related to the difficulty of doing various activities due to a physical/mental health condition, the use of help from others to carry on such activities, and the number of years this difficulty has persisted. For related variables, please use the IPUMS NHIS search function and drop-down menus.


Changes in universe and question wording limit comparability between samples.

In 1984, this question was asked of sample persons ages 55 and older. In 1991, this question was asked of sample persons ages 18 and older. In 1994 and 1995, this question was asked of all persons ages 18 and older in the National Health Interview Survey-Disability Survey (NHIS-D) Phase I sample. Unlike earlier years, a family respondent answered as a proxy for all persons ages 18 and older in 1994 and 1995.

Several changes occurred in the wording of the question. In 1991, the question specified if the difficulty was due to "a physical or mental health condition," whereas in 1984 it did not. In 1984 the question specified "[conducted the activity] by yourself and not using aids," whereas in 1991 that was not specified, but was asked in a follow-up question (see FLCLIMBNHELP). In 1994 and 1995, the household respondent was asked if any adult family member had any difficulty walking up 10 steps without resting.


  • 1984: Sample persons age 55+.
  • 1991: Sample persons age 18+.
  • 1994-1995: Persons aged 18 years and older in the NHIS-D Phase I sample.


  • 1984, 1991, 1994-1995