Researchers in Brazil have discovered a simple test that may help predict your longevity by measuring how well you can sit and rise from the floor – testing muscular strength and flexibility. The test is called the sitting-rising test (SRT) and involves a score of 0-5 for each movement (sitting and rising) with a combined 10 being the highest score awarded for those who can sit and rise from the floor without any assistance from their hands or knees. This is testing your core strength. Your core is anything that connects to your pelvis, whether above or below it, and this includes your hamstrings, glutes and adductor muscles.

How It Works

Sit down on the floor, and then get up using as little assistance from your hands, knees or other body parts as possible. For each body part that you use for support, you'll lose one point from the possible top score of 10.

For instance, if you put one hand on the floor for support to sit down, then use a knee and a hand to help you get up, you'll lose three points for a combined score of seven. What do the numbers mean? They correlated strongly with participants' risk of death during the study period of just over six years. For each unit increase in SRT score, participants gained a 21 percent improvement in survival:

  • Those who scored 0-3 were 6.5 times more likely to die during the study than those who scored 8-10
  • Those who scored 3.5 to 5.5 were 3.8 times more likely to die
  • Those who scored 6 to 7.5 were 1.8 times more likely to die

Quoting this study is meant to provide a wake up call to all of us and is an interesting perspective on the connection between mobility and health and can provide encouragement for many to get back in shape.

Why Are We Talking About This Now?

Because as health conscious people we are increasingly making such good choices that we will likely live for a very long time. And we had better get in shape for it. This test is a measure of your fitness at the most basic level, testing not only muscular strength but also flexibility, balance and motor coordination. All of these attributes are essential for day-to-day living and for maintaining your independence as you age. And though the study didn't measure this directly, there's quite a good chance that those who are capable of easily sitting and standing without assistance are also those who engage in regular physical activity,which is helping to keep them agile and healthy.

Simple Tips For Longevity

One of the key things you can do to extend not only the sheer quantity of your years, but more importantly the quality, is to make a few simple changes to your lifestyle:

  • Optimize your insulin function through diet and exercise. Regulating your insulin and leptin levels in this way have been found to be key factors in slowing down the aging process
  • Previous research has shown that you can extend your lifespan by reducing your caloric intake but cut out calories from a specific source – namely carbohydrates
  • Protein intake should be about one gram per kilogram of lean body mass or less than half a gram per pound of lean body mass. Most people are currently consuming two to three times this much
  • The key to success with this anti-aging strategy is not necessarily to reduce your calories but replace the missing carbs and protein with healthy fats such as butter, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, the fat from pastured animals, and nuts
  • Proper food choices with plenty of fruit and vegetables including a salad at every meal
  • Eat natural, unprocessed salt – Himalayan crystal salt – with your food, as higher salt intake has been tied to longevity
  • Also include liberal amounts of fermented foods in your daily diet which are important for optimal immune function
  • Learn to be stress free. You cannot be optimally healthy if you avoid addressing the emotional components of your health. Your emotional state plays a role in nearly every physical disease from heart disease to depression, Try meditation, yoga, prayer, social support and exercise as ways to help you maintain emotional equilibrium
  • Have a good sleep. Not only is sleep important in preventing illness, but recent research suggests it correlates with longevity as well. Not just enough sleep but the right amount of sleep – not more that 8 hours and not less than 7 hours. Of course, the quality of your sleep is also important, not just the quantity
  • Take high-quality animal-based Omega-3 fats. Animal-based omega-3 fats are a strong factor in helping people to live longer. Many experts believe it's the predominant reason why the Japanese are the longest-lived race on the planet
  • Get your antioxidants from foods. Good sources include blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, beans, and artichokes