Are you middle-aged or older?
If so, here’s a quick and simple test that can predict how long you’ll live.
The test doesn’t require any preparation or special equipment, and takes you only a few minutes to do. You can take the test in your home, in whatever you’re wearing, including pyjamas!
Here are the instructions:
- Sit cross-legged on the floor.
- Without worrying about how much time you take, try and get up from the floor with as minimum support — using your knee(s) or hand(s) — as possible.
Here’s a tip:
- When you’re sitting on the floor, first uncross your legs.
- Now put your legs in front of you, with the knees up.
- Now see if you can stand up, using the strength of your legs alone.
How did you do?
- If you got up from a sitting position on the floor without using ANY support, you get a perfect score of 10.
- Subtract a point for each support used, e.g., subtract one point if you used a hand; two if you used a hand and a knee; four if your used both hands and both knees.
The sitting-rising test reveals a person’s level of musculoskeletal fitness, which is a strong predictor of health in the middle-aged and above. How an individual scores on the test is a predictor of his/her longevity-mortality.
Dr. Claudio Gil Araujo and colleagues at the Clinimex Exercise Medicine Clinic in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, conducted a study on 2,002 men and women, aged 51 to 80, on their ability to sit and then rise unaided from the floor.
The participants were ranked on a score of zero to 10. People who scored 10 did not use any support to sit or rise from the floor.
The study found that the ability to sit on the floor before rising to a standing position was closely linked to all causes of death.
After doing the sitting-rising test, the participants were followed for an average of about 6 years. During the follow-up period, nearly 8% of the participants died. Most of those deaths occurred among people with low test scores. Only two people who scored 10 on the test died.
Compared to those who scored 8 or higher, people who scored below 8 were twice as likely to die. Those who scored zero on the test were 5 to 6 times more likely to die, according to the study. Each one-point increase in the score was associated with a 21% reduced risk of death.
Dr. Araujo explains that a high score on the sitting-rising test might “reflect the capacity to successfully perform a wide range of activities of daily living, such as bending over to pick up a newspaper or a pair of glasses from under a table. It is well known that aerobic fitness is strongly related to survival, but our study also shows that maintaining high levels of body flexibility, muscle strength, power-to-body weight ratio and coordination are not only good for performing daily activities but have a favorable influence on life expectancy.”
Although the study found an association between ability to rise from the floor and death risk, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.
The study was published Dec. 13 in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention.
If you got a low score on the test, it’s not too late to do something about it. Start doing strength exercises like squats, sit-ups, leg-lifts and lunges, to improve your musculoskeletal fitness!
We don’t want to become like that old lady in the TV commercial who fell down and can’t get up.