Published December 13, 2012
A simple sitting and standing test can determine your mortality, according to a study published in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention.
The test screens for musculo-skeletel fitness and is an assessment of your ability to sit and then rise – unaided – from the floor.
The study was performed in Brazil by Dr. Claudio Gil Araujo and his team at the Clinimex-Exercise Medicine Clinic in Rio de Janeiro.
Araujo and his colleagues looked at more than 2,000 middle-aged men and women in 2002. He followed up with them approximately six years later, or until their date of death.
Before the test, Araujo gave the subjects simple instructions. “Without worrying about the speed of movement, try to sit and then to rise from the floor, using the minimum support that you believe is needed,” Araujo said.
Researchers found that those who could rise easily from the floor unassisted had 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," and ultimately lived longer.
Over the course of the study, 159 people died, which is a mortality rate of 7.9 percent. Those who needed assistance to rise from the floor, such as using a hand or knee, had lower scores and a twofold higher death rate over the six-year period.
Araujo said those who scored higher had a low risk of death during the tracking period.
"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 co-ordination are not only good for performing daily activities, but have a favorable influence on life expectancy,” Araujo explained about the correlation between high test scores and survival.