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Sit test determines life expectancy

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(MedPage Today)  When you get up off the floor do you moan, grown or grab sturdy items to pull yourself?  Believe it or not, the way you stand up from a seated position on the floor can actually determine how long you will live.  It is all part of a new study detailed in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.  Basically, each additional support needed to get to and rise from a sitting position on the floor -- knee, hands, etc. -- was associated with a 21% lower chance of survival over about 6 years of follow-up in a trial. 

The survival odds differed by 5.44-fold between the highest and lowest scorers on the sit-rise test after adjustment for age, sex, and body mass index, Claudio Gil Soares de Araújo, PhD, of Gama Filho University and Clinimex in Rio de Janeiro, and colleagues reported.

Ability to rise from the floor reflects muscle strength, coordination, balance, and flexibility needed for getting up out of a chair, bending over to pick up an item, and various other daily activities and is also tied to risk of falls, they explained.  Other functional tests are commonly used, such as chair-to-stand and gait speed, but the floor-to stand test has the advantage of requiring no equipment and minimal space and time.

A maximum of 10 points was possible, 5 for sitting and 5 for rising without any supports. Each support (hand, forearm, knee, side of leg, or hand on the knee) used took away 1 point; and participants could lose an additional 0.5 points for an unsteady performance.

Over the median 6.3 years of follow-up for mortality in state vital status registries, nearly 8% of the cohort died.

Sit-rise test scores tended to be poorer at older ages, but the association between all-cause mortality and score persisted with adjustment for age as well as sex and body mass index.  The hazard ratios compared with the highest-scoring, 8-to 10-point group were (all statistically significant):

5.44 for lowest scores (0 to 3 points)
3.44 for scores of 3.5 to 5.5
1.84 for scores of 6 to 7.5

That translated to a 3-year shorter life expectancy for the lowest versus highest scoring groups.  The researchers noted that no adverse events, such as injury from slips or falls, have occurred during the test over a 14-year experience at the center.

 

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