A question often comes to mind, especially as we get older: How many more years do we have left to live? Claudio Gil Araujo, a Brazilian doctor, came up with this basic test that you can do at the comfort of your home. In a matter of seconds you can predict how long you have to live.
After observing many of his patients, especially older ones, Araujo noticed that they have problems with balance and strength. They were unable or had issues with picking up objects off the floor or getting up out of chair.
Balance and conditioning issues are known to increase the danger of hazardous falls and accidents (and can also hurt cardiovascular health), he thought whether a patient’s flexibility, balance and strength could be utilized into a single formula that could predict how much years a patient has left.
The main idea was, if he found a way to show his patients how thair overall health is being affected by their conditioning they might get more motivated to get in better shape. Simply telling a patient, “get in shape”, probably won’t work. But telling a patient, “You will be dead in 5 years if you don’t get in shape” has better chance.
Test needed to be simple of course. If it required unreal equipment or expensive measuring devices, not much people could access it. So Araujo along with his colleagues developed the sitting-rise test, also known as SRT test. It is quite simple and no external equipment is required. It can be performed in matter of seconds and it is accessible by everyone.
The test is so simple that you could find someone and try it right now. A simple illustration, provided by Discover, will help you to do the test right. Also wear something loose and comfortable for more precise results.
Start by standing up in the middle of a room. Once comfortable, squat into cross-legged sitting position. Mind that you shouldn’t use your arms or hands for leverage. Then again once comfortable try to stand back up. Again you shouldn’t use your arms or hands for help.
Scoring the test is fairly easy. It is scored on a scale between 1 and 10. Five points for each sitting and standing back up. Every time you use the help of arm or knee you take 10 points out of the possible points. Each time you lose balance, half point is taken of the pool of available points or when the fluidity of your feet feels unwieldy.
It may seem like a pretty basic test for a person’s condition, but Araujo hit up serious findings that the test can forecast life expectancy with alarming accuracy. More then 2000 of his patients, aged between 51 and 80, are tested with the SRT test. Shockingly, people that scored less the 8 points on the test, were two times more likely to die in the next six years. The ones that scored tree or less had five times greater chances to die within the same period. Overall, each point achieved in the SRT test accounted for 21% decrease in mortality.
Araujo’s study is performed mostly on patients older then 50. The study is also meant for this group of people. But even young individuals can try the test. It will provide a useful information about theirs overall health. If you have less then 50 and have issues with SRT test, that might be a wake-up call. The upside is that the younger you are, the more time you have to get into better shape than you are at the moment.