April 28th, 2014

Longevity Test: Can You Stand Up Without Using Your Hands?

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Groovy Green Livin longevity

I’ve become completely obsessed with this longevity test.

Can you get off the floor from a seated position without using your hands, arms or knees to help you?

Try it! It’s not as simple as it sounds.

I somehow stumbled upon a longevity study that was done a few years back and now I’m hooked.

In the study over 2,000 men and women ranging in age from 51-80 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.”

Here’s a video showing how the subjects were scored in the longevity study and how you can test yourself and others:

The study found that middle-aged and elderly adults who needed to use their hands and their knees to get up and down were almost seven times more likely to die within six years, compared with those who could get up and down without support.

I’m not old enough to participate in this study, yet I still feel compelled to make sure I can do this not-so-simple task.

The investigators in the longevity study said that a high score in the sitting-rising test might “reflect the capacity to successfully perform a wide range of activities of daily living, such as bending over to pick up a newspaper or a pair of glasses from under a table”.

I’ve been working out for years, but this study shows that longevity is based on more than just physical fitness.  

“It is well known that aerobic fitness is strongly related to survival, but our study also shows that maintaining high levels of body flexibility, muscle strength, power-to-body weight ratio and co-ordination are not only good for performing daily activities but have a favorable influence on life expectancy.”

So now do you see why I’m obsessed?

I’m so fixated that I just got out of my chair to make sure I can still do this!

Bringing longevity back to reality

Placing my obsession aside, I know that one simple test isn’t a tried and true indicator of longevity. I think what’s so fascinating is our ability to have some control over this small measure of how long we live. It’s not new news that what we place in and on our bodies along with functional fitness can all help gauge our long-term health.

So it’s time to get on the floor and let me know if you can do this. Hopefully you won’t become as obsessed as I am!

photo credit: @superamit via photopin cc

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9 Responses to “Longevity Test: Can You Stand Up Without Using Your Hands?”

  1. I can do it Lori!! But I have to say I do think all my new running helped even though it’s more to do with flexibility. Since I’ve done it though I keep thinking about it and I’m now I think I have your obsession!! :)

  2. A good reminder to have a well-rounded view of fitness. I try to never skimp on the stretching personally. This makes me think of when I’m pregnant, and need my hands, knees, table, and sometimes another person to get off of the floor :)

  3. Ha! I can relate Betsy. There were times when I couldn’t get off the floor at all when I was pregnant!

  4. Yay Penelope! I’m not surprised. I’m sure that running has helped a lot. I love seeing how far you’ve come with your routes. Keep it up!

  5. I had to use 1 hand to get up. I tried using momentum – no luck. Guess I’ll have to keep working on it.

  6. Keep trying Gina. It took me a few attempts to get it. Now I keep testing myself so I don’t lose it!

  7. Honestly, if I had stronger muscles and better coordination I probably could. And longer arms! I can do it for a few seconds but then I tire out…

  8. It’s not easy Robert. Keep trying!

  9. I was able to do it but I kinda stressed out about not using my hands!! I need to get back to the gym, it has been a few to many days since my last visit. I can see how this study really caught your attention.
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About Lori

I’m Lori Popkewitz Alper, a recovering attorney, mom of three and the Founder of Groovy Green Livin. I hope you'll join me as I embark on a journey to live a healthy life. Along the way I might make a few pit stops to fight for issues that affect the health and safety of our families. Come along with me as I work hard to make the world a little safer for each of us. Together we'll discover that simple, small changes can lead to a healthier lifestyle and a greener planet.

Click HERE to contact Lori

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