While everyone has their own reasons for exercising, one of the biggest motivating factors is preventing disease and increasing one’s life span. But how do you know if you’re doing the right kind and amount of exercise to prolong your life? How good of shape are you really in and how does that relate to longevity?
Wouldn’t it be great if there was some sort of easy test you could take to let you know?
Well, lucky for you, there is!
The European Journal of Cardiology published a study that showed a link between the ability of people age 51-80 to go from a standing position into a seated cross-legged position and then return to standing with how long someone was likely to live. Before you get too excited thinking, “hey, I can do that easily” you should know there’s a catch. You’re not able to use your arms to help you.
It may sound strange that there could be a link between lifespan and standing up, but this (seemingly) simple action requires strength, flexibility, coordination and balance – things that we tend to lose the older we get.
This is how the test is performed:
1. Stand in loose clothing with nothing on your feet
2. Without using your arms for support, lower yourself into a seated position – legs crossed
3. Stand back up, but try not to use your hands, knees, forearms or sides of your legs
If you can do that perfectly, congratulations, you get your full 10 points – 5 for sitting down and another 5 for standing. If you can’t, you need to deduct one point for each of the following actions:
? Your hand touches the ground
? Your knee touches the ground
? Your forearm touches the ground
? Your hand touches your thigh or knee
? You push off the floor with the side of your lower leg
Also, any time you lose your balance you need to take of 0.5 points.
So, how’d you do? The study revealed that people who scored lower than 8 on the test were two times as likely to die within the next 6 years as those that scored higher. People that scored three or fewer points were more than 5 times as likely to die within that same 6 years.
So, give it a try and see for yourself. If you score lower than an 8, it’s time to get that body moving!