The Brazilian physician Claudio Gil Araujo has a simple test which can show you how many years you have left to live. He noticed that a lot of his patients, especially the older ones, have difficulties with balance and strength as well as picking up something off the floor or getting up of a chair. Coordination and balance increase the risk of dangerous falls and accidents, he tried to use the flexibility, balance and strength of people as a measure of life expectancy.
He had an idea that his patients may be motivated to get in better shape if there is a more tangible way of conceptualizing how their overall health is affected by their conditioning. If they are told to get in better shape, then they would probably not change their behavior, but if they are told that if they do not get into better shape, they may die in 5 years, they will most likely to take a notice. For that reason he and his colleagues developed an inexpensive and simple sitting-rise test (SRT) which doesn’t require any equipment and may be performed in a few seconds.
Sitting-rise test (SRT)
You need to wear loose or comfortable clothing. Start by standing upright in the middle of a room and carefully squat into a cross-legged sitting position without using your arms or hands. When you are comfortable, try to stand back up from the sitting position without using your hands.
This test has 10 scores, 5 for sitting, 5 for standing, thus each time you use your arm or knee for help in balancing during the test, you subtract 1 point from 10, while half a point is subtracted if you lose balance or if you become clumsy.
This test was done on more than 2,000 patients aged between 51-80 and he discovered that people who scored less than 8/ points were twice as likely to die within the next 6 years, while those who scored 3 points or less were 5 times more likely to die within the same time period. Each point in the test accounted for 21% decrease in mortality.
The results will not mean the same for younger individuals, however, the test should provide a useful benchmark for your overall health. If you are below 50 and have troubles with the test, then it surely is a wake-up call. The great news are that the younger you are, the more time you have to get into better shape.