The sitting-rising test – can it predict how long you will live?

Now, it is a great claim to make. If some woman with tarot cards can’t predict my future then how am I or anyone else meant to believe that a sitting test can do it instead? However, there is something to be said for how our ability to do simple exercise can highlight how our body will weather through the many years of our lives.

The sitting-rising test (SRT) is very simple in its design and it requires no equipment or skill. You can simply follow along at home (make sure to be barefoot). But a word of warning about this test – your hips and knees are out of alignment with the rest of your body when you do this test. That means it could be harmful, especially if you have arthritis or other joint problems – don’t try it.

Step 1: with your hands straight in front of you lower yourself to the floor without using your hands or knees. Then sit on the floor with your legs crossed.

Step 2: now try to rise up from the ground without using your arms again, only your legs.

Like I said, this test is very simple but it can prove difficult. The catch is that while you do it, no other part of your body can touch the floor. We have become so used to rising and sitting (albeit not from the floor) that we never think how hard it might be if we couldn’t use our arms, or moving onto our knees first. That’s why this test actually reveals more about your health than you would think. It turns out that muscle strength and balance, on the whole, mirror our general health status.

In a study published in the European Journal of Cardiology, Brazilian researchers studied over 2,000 patients between the ages of 51 to 80 for six years and watched as they did the SRT. They discovered something very interesting. When the patients were doing the test they started with a score of 10, and the more errors that occurred the lower their score would get. So, for example, if they used their hands or knees to get up they had points deducted. This showed that people who scored less than eight points were twice as likely to die sooner than those above eight. However, for those who scored below three were five times more likely to die sooner.

So if you did the test again but started with 10 points, what would you get? Well, the deduction of points goes like this. The sitting and rising parts of the test have 5 points each. If you have to use your hands, forearms, side of the legs or knee you have 1 point subtracted each time. If you put your hand on your knee or thigh to level yourself up, it’s also a point, Or, if your hands touch any part of your body, you also have half points subtracted for any loss of balance.

The outcome of the number you get on your score could indicate how healthy you are and also how long you might live for. If you get between 8-10 you most likely are in great health and will have a high life expectancy. If you score from 3-7, you are fairly healthy but have a higher risk of dying younger than those in the 8-10 range. And if you score 3 or below you most likely have poor health and possibly a shorter life expectancy.

However, it’s never too late to change your score and going up by one score can improve your life expectancy greatly.

The exercise is able to show leg strength and lower-body fitness and is directed towards the old age range to test musculoskeletal fitness. Nevertheless, it is only an estimate and isn’t indicative of how long you will live. However, if you do want to get a bit higher on the test try adding more exercise into your daily routine and see how positively your body will respond.



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