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Simple Sitting Test May Predict How Long You Will Live


It’s a question we often ponder, especially as we age: How many years do I have left? Well, thanks to Brazilian physician Claudio Gil Araujo, there’s now a simple test you can perform right at home, in just a few seconds, that could predict how many years you have left to live, according to Discover.

Araujo came up with the test after noticing that many of his patients, especially older ones, often have difficulty with simple feats of balance and strength, such as picking up something off the floor or getting up out of a chair. Since balance and conditioning problems are known to increase the risk of dangerous falls and accidents (and can also harm cardiovascular health), he wondered if a patient’s flexibility, balance and strength could be used as a measure of life expectancy.

His idea was that patients might be more motivated to get in better shape if they had a more tangible way of conceptualizing how their overall health was being affected by their conditioning. If a patient is simply told to get in shape, they’re not likely to change their behavior. But if they’re told “if you don’t get into better shape, you could be dead in five years,” they’re apt to take notice.

Of course, the test also needed to be simple. If it required expensive equipment or measuring devices, the test probably wouldn’t be accessible to many people. So Araujo and colleagues developed the sitting-rise test, or SRT. It requires no equipment whatsoever and can be performed in seconds.

In fact, you can grab a friend try the test out yourself right now. It’s recommended that you wear loose or comfortable clothing. Begin by standing upright in the middle of a room. Without using your arms or hands for leverage, carefully squat into a cross-legged sitting position. Once you’re comfortable, attempt to stand back up from the sitting position — again, without using your arms for help. A simple illustration (above), provided by Discover, can help you to visualize the steps.

The test is scored on a point scale between 1 and 10 (5 points for sitting, 5 more points for standing back up). Each time you use an arm or knee for help in balancing during the test, you subtract one point from 10 possible points. Half a point is subtracted each time you lose balance, or when the fluidity of the feat becomes clumsy.


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