Muscle strength, balance, and flexibility are major indicating signs of longevity. Believe it or not, the simple sit-stand-repeat can help you measure your strength and flexibility which can further predict if you will live longer or shorter.
This is suggested by a study done by Claudio Gil Araujo, a Brazilian physician. He uses this test with athletes, but also with patients. He asserts that if people want to live long, they need to keep moving and optimize their muscles and balance.
What Did the Study Show?
According to Araujo, many of his patients, especially elderly, had difficulty with simple movements like bending down which is a sign of low flexibility. As we age, the muscle power and balance are known to decrease and thus, this makes older people at a higher risk of falls.
Instead of lecturing patients about the need for staying fit throughout life, he decided to give his patients the needed information about what to better. He thought that the available clinical tests for flexibility, balance, and muscle strength were overly time consuming or needed a lot of additional space for some equipment or for walking.
Plus, the results cannot be 100 percent reliable due to some contributing factors like arm chair height or the speed of the stopwatch.
An Alternative Solution Is Available?
Together with his colleagues, he worked on an alternative test known as the sitting-rising test, i.e. SRT. It does not require walking paths or some equipment. You just need a clear floor and a participant.
During his study, he included more than 2000 patients from the ages of 51 to 80 and they took this test. Those with fewer than 8 points on this test had two times higher risk of death within the next 6 years in comparison to those with higher scores.
Those with three or fewer points had more than 5 times higher risk of death within this period in comparison to those with more than 8 points.
How to Perform the Test at Home?
- In comfy clothes, stand straight and without holding onto something, lower yourself to a sitting position to the floor
- Then, stand up without using the knees, hands, forearms or leg sides
The two movements in this test, i.e. sitting down and standing back, are scored on a 1 to 5 scale. A point is subtracted every time a hand or a knee is used for support. For loss of balance, 0.5 points are removed.