Ability to sit and rise from the floor as a predictor of all-cause mortality

European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, 01/03/2013

The authors' aim was to evaluate the association between the ability to sit and rise from the floor and all–cause mortality. Musculoskeletal fitness, as assessed by SRT, was a significant predictor of mortality in 51–80–year–old subjects. Application of a simple and safe assessment tool such as sitting–rising test (SRT), which is influenced by muscular strength and flexibility, in general health examinations could add relevant information regarding functional capabilities and outcomes in non–hospitalized adults.

Author Commentary

Indeed, it has been widely recognized that aerobic fitness is strongly related to life expectancy in middle aged and elderly subjects of both sexes. However, physical fitness, a broader attribute, is not only reflected by aerobic fitness but rather comprised of several other aspects, including body composition, muscle strength/power, flexibility and balance. Poor results in some of these other health-related fitness variables is often a result of an inadequate lifestyle mainly reflected by a lifelong sedentary pattern. So, subjects unable to perform some everyday tasks, most likely present one or more features such as excess body fat and or weight, reduced levels of muscle power/strength (dynapenia), limited body joint flexibility and poor balance. While there were several pieces of information in the medical literature showing that each one of these variables could be associated to adverse prognosis, the unique feature of our study is to use a single and very simple, fast and safe assessment tool - the sitting-rising test (SRT) - that combines all these variables and that was able by the results to identify the subjects that were at higher risk of death in the following years. In summary, the inability to sit and rise from the floor, just underscored other more relevant physical and clinical problems that were influencing the survival. A full pdf version is free to download at publisher's website http://cpr.sagepub.com/content/early/2012/12/10/2047487312471759.full.pdf+html. For those interested in know more about the SRT there is a video posted in youtube describing the execution and scoring at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCQ2WA2T2oA

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