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, examined information from 2000 adults aged 51-80, from 1997-2011. Participants were asked to perform a “sitting-rising test”, deemed a useful assessment of musculoskeletal fitness. Anyone currently playing sports or presenting with musculoskeletal limitations was excluded. Subjects were asked to go from a standing to a sitting position on the floor, and then to rise again. They were encouraged to disregard speed as a factor. Each subject started with five points, then lost a point for each support they used (ie, hand, forearm, knee), and another half point if the evaluator decided that they were unsteady at any stage of the movement.
During the 6.3 year study, 7.9% of the subjects died. Analyzing data from the test, the researchers discovered that lower-scoring participants had a 5- to 6-times higher risk of mortality than those with better scores. While the researchers could not define a ink between overall fitness, flexibility, the sitting-rising test and mortality, they believe "it is reasonable to expect 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.” They said that while this is intuitive, further investigation is required to understand the exact mechanisms involved. Reference: Barbosa Barreto de Brito, L, Ricardo, DR, Sardinha Mendes Soares, D, Santos Ramos, P, Myers, J, Soares de Araújo, CG. (2012). Ability to sit and rise from the floor as a predictor of all-cause mortality. European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention, doi: 10.1177/2047487312471759