Want to know how long you’ll live? We can’t tell you that, but this test created by Brazilian physician Dr. Claudio Gil Araujo, MD, PhD., could be an indicator of your chances of dying from all causes over the next six years.
Araujo noted that many of his older, sedentary patients could easily bike or run on a treadmill, but they found it difficult to bend down and tie their own shoes. He wanted to show the importance of activity and maintaining muscle and balance in order to live a longer, healthier life, so he created the Sitting Rising Test (SRT): a test that measures non-aerobic physical fitness.
First, let’s try it.
1. Stand straight in comfortable clothing and in your bare feet, with space around you and a soft surface beneath you. Have someone else near you when attempting this test.
2. Without leaning on anything, cross your feet and lower yourself into a seated position on the floor.
3. Then, stand back up, trying not to use any part of your body for support.
How’d you do? Scoring for this test is divided between the two basic movements. You’re rated on a 1-to-5 scale for both sitting down on the floor and standing back up. For each time your hand, knee, forearm or leg is used for support, you lose one point. For each time you lose your balance or stumble, subtract 0.5 points. Add your two totals together for your total SRT score.
So what does your score mean? When Araujo conducted the test’s original study, more than 2,000 patients ages 51 to 80 were asked to take the SRT. People in his study who scored fewer than eight points were twice as likely to die in the following six years than those who scored higher. Those who scored three points or less were five times more likely to die within those six years compared to those who scored more than eight points.
Overall, he found that each point increase in the final SRT score was associated with a 21 percent decrease in chance of death from all causes over the next six years. And if you’re over 50 and scored a perfect 10, Araujo says that’s something to be proud of, as not many people in the age group can do it.
Dr. Michael Lim, director of the Division of Cardiology at Saint Louis University Hospital, told USA Today that this test’s results make sense in determining your risk. “The more active we are, the better we can accommodate stressors, the more likely we are to handle something bad that happens down the road,” he said.
If your results were a bit startling, you’re in need of some help to get your flexibility, balance and strength up. Try these 10 best moves to work on your balance, then follow along with this 7 minute full-body flexibility workout below!