A simple exercise that consists of sitting and raising yourself of the floor without holding on to something can determine how long will you live. People between 51 and 80 years old who can barely or very badly do this exercise – are five times more likely to die over the next six years than those who do the workout with ease.
Claudio Arauljo from the University “Gama Filho” in Rio de Janeiro is one of the members of the team who is responsible for the sitting and getting up test. This test is especially useful for athletes, but also for many patients who he teaches that maintaining muscle mass and flexibility can prolong your life.
A group of Brazilian physiotherapists, in the European Journal of Cardiology, published their research which included 2,002 persons aged between 51 and 80 years.
They found that patients who achieved less than eight points on a scale of ten are two times more likely to die over the next six years than patients who achieved nine and ten points.
On the other hand, those whose score was three points or less were five times more likely to die in the same period.
During the test, one point is deducted each time a person tries to hold on to their knees or something else when he sits or stands up, a half a point is deducted each time a loss of balance occurs.
“The condition of the muscular and skeletal system, which is evaluated in this test, is an important indicator which can predict mortality of a person between 51 and 80 years old,” says the study.
Although the results relate to people in the fifth, sixth and seventh decade of their life, this exercise can show a lot about the state of health of young people.
Although most of physiotherapists agree with their Brazilian colleagues, some are a bit skeptical, wondering: How older people can do such a test?
“People with arthritis or weak knees should not attempt to do this test. This does not appeal against the research – but is only a warning so that they do not further hurt themselves”, said a British physiotherapist Sammy Margo.