Apparently I’m going to die soon.
There’s no way at my ripe age of 55 that I can get up from the floor without using my arms – or asking for help. According to scientists from Brazil, if you’re able to do this acrobatic feat, you are going to live longer.
Their data is based on the analysis of 2,000 middle-aged and older men and women, whose level of fitness was measured with this exercise using a composite score of 10. According to their data, 159 patients died during the 6.3-year study period, the majority of whom had low test scores. Further analysis found subjects with lower scores had a five to six times higher risk of death than those with higher scores.
While this research may seem telling, to me, this so-called test leaves many factors unexplained.
First, the study does not explain the causes of death for the 159 patients. Also, I don’t see any data with regard to the previous health statuses of the subjects studied. Lastly, the age range of subjects, ranging from 51 to 80 years of age, seems too broad to have just one single test applicable to such a diversified age group.
I do agree physical fitness has a very strong correlation with longevity. However, we also know that cardiovascular health is affected by many other factors – like family history of heart disease, genetics, smoking, cholesterol, diabetes – and more. Therefore, just getting up and down from the floor is not going to cut it as a predictor of overall mortality.
It’s an interesting study, but it needs more science.
Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel's senior managing health editor. He also serves as chairman of the department of obstetrics/gynecology and reproductive science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. For more information on Dr. Manny's work, visit AskDrManny.com.