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Dec 14, 2012 by EDITOR
Very Bizarre Study: People Who Can't Stand From A Seated Position On The Floor Without Any Support, Have Early Death Risk

An incredibly bizarre study claims that both men and women, aged 51 to 80, who are unable to rise unaided from the floor without the use of their hands, knees or any other support, are at increased risk of early death.

Those who can sit down on the floor and get up using only one hand -- OR NO HANDS AT ALL -- are likely to live for longer, the study found.

Try this for yourself. It's a very difficult feat for most 20 year olds, let alone 51 to 80 year olds. A young woman in the video below demonstrates the exact movement the authors claim is required in their study (the music in this video is not particularly in good taste for demo purposes).

The study found a simple two-minute test could predict the level of overall fitness in middle age that earmarks those likely to enjoy a longer life.

Researchers said the ease with which someone could stand up from a sitting position on the floor -- and vice versa -- was linked to a reduced risk of dying early.

The study, performed in Brazil by Dr Claudio Gil Araujo and colleagues at the Clinimex -- Exercise Medicine Clinic in Rio de Janeiro, is reported today in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention.

The assessment was performed in 2002 adults of both sexes and with ages ranging from 51 to 80 years. The subjects were followed-up from the date of the baseline test until the date of death or 31 October 2011, a median follow-up of 6.3 years.

Before starting the test, they were told: "Without worrying about the speed of movement, try to sit and then to rise from the floor, using the minimum support that you believe is needed."

The actual film of the sitting-rising test used in the study can be seen at

The authors claim that over the study period, 159 subjects died, a mortality rate of 7.9%. The majority of these deaths occurred in people with low test scores -- indeed, only two of the deaths were in subjects who gained a composite score of 10.

The problem is, the test measures much more than primary musculo-skeletal fitness skills. Balance and flexibility are also very significant variables in achieving this movement and are secondary measures, often used as lower indicators and appraisal of musculo-skeletal fitness, especially relating to mortality.

Nevertheless, commenting on the results the investigators said that a high score in the sitting-rising test might "reflect the capacity to successfully perform a wide range of activities of daily living, such as bending over to pick up a newspaper or a pair of glasses from under a table."

However, in this study a composite score below 8 (that is, requiring more than one hand or knee support to sit and rise from the floor in a stable way) were associated with 2 fold higher death rates over the 6.3 year study period. By contrast, scores in the range of 8 indicated a particularly low risk of death during the tracking period. "Even more relevant," reported the investigators, "is the fact that a 1-point increment in the [sitting-rising] score was related to a 21% reduction in mortality." They added that this is the first study to demonstrate the prognostic value of the sitting-rising test.

Offering an explanation for the close correlation between the test scores and survival, Dr Araujo said: "It is well known that aerobic fitness is strongly related to survival, but our study also shows that maintaining high levels of body flexibility, muscle strength, power-to-body weight ratio and co-ordination are not only good for performing daily activities but have a favourable influence on life expectancy.

Dr Araujo emphasised the great potential of the sitting-rising test among primary care physicians looking for a quick appraisal of musculo-skeletal fitness in clinical or industrial settings. "If a middle-aged or older man or woman can sit and rise from the floor using just one hand -- or even better without the help of a hand -- they are not only in the higher quartile of musculo-skeletal fitness but their survival prognosis is probably better than that of those unable to do so."

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