Stand Up, Sit Down, Live, Live, Live

Just to get your new year off right, I thought I’d send you dudes crashing to the floor.

Sort of. See, the thing of it is this: I just know that once you dudes and dudettes read this little story, you’re going to be sitting on the floor within the hour. Not that it’s that shocking that you’ll fall there, but you’re going to want to sit down just to see.

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.

The test was a simple assessment of the subjects’ ability to sit and then rise unaided from the floor. 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.”

As it turns out, the people who were able to stand and sit without using any help or using their hands had a much higher level of survival than did those who needed assistance.

Yeah, as soon as I read that, I sat down and then stood up rather quickly. Without help or using my hands, I must add. Feeling pretty good about my survival chances. So good, in fact, that I’m contemplating jumping out of an airplane.

Although I’m not sure this test actually considers that sort of thing.

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 stood and sat unaided.

Sounds good to me.


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