The ability to sit down and rise from the floor without using your hands is positively related to longevity (Brito, et al., 2012). In an article by the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, a team of researchers has shown that the floor to stand test is predictive of how long you will live, relatively speaking. This is no crystal ball that will reveal your final age, but the floor to stand test is a significant predictor of mortality in older populations of 51-80 years old.
So now that you’ve tried the floor to stand test challenge, how do you feel? Were you surprised at the difficulty of the movement, or was it no sweat? There are several areas of movement that can help you improve your score. But first, why are we doing this floor to stand challenge, and what does it mean in regards to my overall health and longevity?
Why is this important?
Let’s take the focus away from the mortality piece, and apply it to living and moving well. Simply put: as we age, we all want to preserve our autonomy and ability to function freely in our activities of daily life. For aging populations, quality of movement can be either a barrier to success, or a vital key to living without inhibition. “The inability to perform these (sitting and rising from the floor) and similar actions are closely related to the risk of falling, and if a fall has occurred, the capacity to return to an upright position is critical” (Brito, et al., 2012.) If we fall, can we get back up? If we drop something, is it easy to retrieve?
To review, the floor to stand challenge is as follows:
Part 1: Find a way to sit on the floor from a standing position without using your hands, arms, or knees for assistance. Not so bad, right?
Part 2: Return to a standing position without using your hands, arms, or knees to help you back up.
Scoring: A perfect score is 10/10. 0.5 Points are deducted every time you use a hand, arm, or knee for help. For every loss of balance, another 0.5 is deducted from your score.