Simple Test Predicts Longevity
Don’t be surprised if your doctor asks you to sit on the floor at your next checkup. A new study says testing a person’s ability to sit down and then rise from the floor could provide useful insight into their overall health and longevity.
Brazilian researchers discovered an interesting link between a person’s ability to sit and rise from the floor and the risk of being 6.5 times more likely to die in the next six years. The study, published in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention, included a simple test in which more than 2,000 people ages 51 to 80 attempted to sit down on the floor and then stand back up using as little support as possible.
Chairs used to be a helpful tool to measure a person’s strength and lower body fitness. Having a person stand up from a seated position helped doctors assess a person's overall frailty and also if he or she is likely to fall (and thereby at an increased risk of fracture). It also measured a person’s lower-body strength and agility.
But this new test has some real life applications.
Instead of simply gauging a person’s ability to get up off the couch, the sitting test helps identify risks associated with picking up vital items—such as medicine or eyeglasses—that may drop on the floor. It also can identify those at risk of spending hours (or longer) on the floor after a fall—unable to get up or call for help.
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