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Sit-to-Stand Predicts Mortality in Older Adults

by Ryan Halvorson on Feb 18, 2013

Making News

A person’s ability to get up from the floor may be a predictor of mortality, according to researchers from Clinimex Exercise Medicine Clinic in Rio de Janeiro.

The study, published in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention (2012; doi: 10.1177/2047487312471759), examined information from 2,000 adults, aged 51–80, from 1997 to 2011. Participants were asked to perform what researchers termed the sitting-rising test, a useful assessment of musculoskeletal fitness. Anyone currently playing sports or presenting with musculoskeletal limitations was excluded.

Participants were asked to go from a standing to a sitting position on the floor, and then to rise again. They were encouraged to do so without regard for speed. Each subject started with five points. Subjects lost a point for each support they used (hand, forearm, knee, etc.) and another half point if the evaluator deemed them unsteady at any stage of the movement.

During the 6.3-year intervention, 7.9% of subjects died. Analyzing data from the test, the researchers found that lower-scoring participants had a 5- to 6-times higher risk of mortality than those with better scores.

The scientists could not define a link between overall fitness, flexibility, the sitting-rising test and mortality. “It is reasonable to believe that a loss of mobility would adversely influence the ability to sit and to rise from the floor, and therefore result in a lower [test] score; while this is intuitive, this hypothesis requires confirmation.”

View the lead researcher administering the sitting-rising test at www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCQ2WA2T2oA.

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About the Author

Ryan Halvorson

Ryan Halvorson IDEA Author/Presenter

Ryan Halvorson is the chief content officer for Fit Scribe Media (www.fitscribemedia.com); contributing editor for IDEA Health & Fitness Association; director of group training at Bird Rock Fit in La Jolla, CA; a Master Instructor for Metabolic Effect and the creator of www.Fat2Fitin30.com, a lifestyle organization dedicated to finding ways to achieve improved fitness, nutrition and healthy living habits in 30 minutes or less. He is an internationally recognized speaker and has written for publications such as DETAILS and GQ.