Can your mobility predict your longevity? The ability to go from standing to sitting upon the floor and then to stand again unaided seems on the surface quite easy – but is it? It is a measure of strength, coordination, flexibility, balance and…longevity. That’s right, this simple test can predict your mortality. The study first published by Brazilian cardiologist Dr Claudio Gil Araujo in 2012 found that those who scored higher in the test had a longer life span than those who did not.
This test differs from the traditional sit to stand test whereby doctors assess leg strength and lower body fitness in seniors. It takes away some of the variables of the standardised sit to stand test. This test is also revealing for those of us who are 40-plus, as it calls for flexibility, balance, motor coordination, and, most importantly, ample muscle power relative to body weight. If you can’t do it, your health and longevity may be at risk.
It solely relies upon your ability to go from a standing position, to seated on the ground and then rise again. It sounds easy but there is a catch. You need to do the test unaided (see diagram below).
The Test: 1. Go from standing to sitting on the ground without the use of your hands, arms, elbows or knees to slow your descent.
2. Then rise back up to the standing position. Again without. The assistance of your hands, arms, elbow or knees to assist you.
If you can do this test unassisted, you score a 10/10 – a 5 for your downward journey and a 5 for the rising.
With each body part that touches or aids you on your descent or ascent (as pictured in the diagram), take 1 point off of your total. If there is any imbalance, take off 0.5 of a mark.
Study author Claudio Gil Araujo has said “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, and coordination also has a favourable influence on life expectancy.”
The research showed that people who scored fewer than eight points on the test were twice as likely to die within the next six years compared with those who scored higher. Those who scored three or fewer points were more than five times as likely to die within the same period compared with those who scored more than eight points.
Overall, each point increase in the SRT score was associated with a 21 percent decrease in mortality from all causes.
Done the test? How did you score?