Our aim was to comprehensively validate the 1-min sit-to-stand (STS) test in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients and explore the physiological response to the test.We used data from two longitudinal studies of COPD patients who completed inpatient pulmonary rehabilitation programmes. We collected 1-min STS test, 6-min walk test (6MWT), health-related quality of life, dyspnoea and exercise cardiorespiratory data at admission and discharge. We assessed the learning effect, test-retest reliability, construct validity, responsiveness and minimal important difference of the 1-min STS test.In both studies (n=52 and n=203) the 1-min STS test was strongly correlated with the 6MWT at admission (r=0.59 and 0.64, respectively) and discharge (r=0.67 and 0.68, respectively). Intraclass correlation coefficients (95% CI) between 1-min STS tests were 0.93 (0.83-0.97) for learning effect and 0.99 (0.97-1.00) for reliability. Standardised response means (95% CI) were 0.87 (0.58-1.16) and 0.91 (0.78-1.07). The estimated minimal important difference was three repetitions. End-exercise oxygen consumption, carbon dioxide output, ventilation, breathing frequency and heart rate were similar in the 1-min STS test and 6MWT.The 1-min STS test is a reliable, valid and responsive test for measuring functional exercise capacity in COPD patients and elicited a physiological response comparable to that of the 6MWT.