The "Sitting Rising Test" and Life Expectancy
Are you at risk of dying early?
Curious how long you're going to live? Try this simple test.
To prepare, get into some comfortable clothes and remove any shoes or socks, so your feet are bare. Make sure the space around you is clear. Stand up straight and relax.
Step one, without leaning or holding onto anything, lower yourself into a sitting position with your legs crossed on the floor.
Step two, stand back up, but try to do it without using anything other than your legs. That means you shouldn't be pushing off with your hands, don't brace with your knees, avoid using your forearms or the sides of your legs.
Everybody starts with 10 points. You subtract a single point each time you do any of the following things, in either step. Minus one point if you have to use your hand, forearm, knee, side of the leg or you put your hand on your knee or thigh in step one. Then minus another point if you have to do any of those things again in step two. Take away half a point if you lose your balance.
Some Moves That Subtract Points
- Good: 8-10 points means you're doing well. Your overall fitness and balance are good and you have the greatest life expectancy.
- Fair: 3.5 7.5 points is a problem. Your fitness and balance are weak and you're twice as likely to die in the next six years as people who scored in the good range.
- Poor: 0-3 points should be a loud warning. Your fitness level is low and you're five times as likely to die in the next six years as people who scored in the good range.
This remarkably simple test was developed by Brazilian physician Claudio Gil Araujo and his colleagues. What they found was that traditional tests involving stopwatches, specialized equipment and large spaces were too time consuming and often unreliable, because they depended on very precise measurements by the person giving the test.
The "Sitting Rising Test" or SRT was the alternative they came up with to quickly assess the balance, flexibility and muscle strength of their patients. What Dr. Araujo saw was that as patients aged, they became less flexible, their muscles were weaker and balance was more of a problem. Those risk factors significantly increase the risk of debilitating or deadly falls. Using the SRT doctors can determine which patients are at greatest risk and suggest a fitness program to improve their score.
Dr. Araujo and his team tested the method on 2002 patients aged 51 to 80, and published the results in the European Journal of Cardiology in December of 2012.
You can see the abstract of this study and links to Dr. Araujo's YouTube video with further comments on PubMed at the link below;
When patients improved their score, the long-term results were stunning. Every additional point increase a patient had on the SRT, meant a 21 percent DECREASE in mortality from all causes. You read that right. Just going from a total score of five to six means you are potentially cutting your risk of death by 21 percent. Move from six to seven and you cut your risk 21 percent more.
The message Dr. Araujo is trying to get across to people is the importance of getting and staying in shape. If you want to live a long and healthy life, you've got to build muscle, work on maintaining balance and MOVE. The SRT also gives valuable information on what areas you may be weak in, like balance, leg flexibility or upper body strength.
The simplest and safest recommendation is to say, get out and start walking. But that's just not enough. You've also got to build muscle, so that means some kind of program of progressive resistance. You can use weights, bands or just your bodyweight, but you need to stress the muscles enough that they grow. You may also look into foam rolling before a workout to improve flexibility.
You don't have to do it all at once, but if your score is low, you need to start something.
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beginning any diet or exercise program.