Sitting-Rising: A Test of Mortality Risk
Good physical function improves the quality of life, and it may also predict quantity of life. The Sitting-Rising test is an easy way predict premature mortality risk and appraise physical function.
The test is simple: sit down to the floor and rise up with as little help as possible. There are 5 possible points for lowering and 5 for getting up with points subtracted for each time help is needed. Using a hand, forearm, knee or the side of a leg for support subtracts 1 point. Loss of balance subtracts 0.5 points. A perfect score of 10 is given when no help is required.
A Brazilian research team tested middle age and older adults with the Sitting-Rising test and then followed them for an average of about 6 years. Their findings showed that scoring very low (0-3 points) was associated with both a 3- year shorter life expectancy and 5-6 times higher risk of all-cause mortality compared to scoring very high (8-10 points). These results are specific to this study of adults 51-80 years old, but the researchers use the test in their clinical practice with all age groups to assess overall physical function.
This link between sitting-rising and increased mortality risk is compelling. One researcher told a journalist he hopes the information gets more people “walking through the doors of a gym rather than rolling into an emergency room.” If you have trouble with this test and want to improve your health and function, focus on these things:
- Increasing mobility with foam rolling and stretching
- Improving stability and balance with core stability and single leg exercises
- Building general strength through consistent weight training
- Practice getting down to the floor and back up again – the test can be an exercise itself
As always, if you have specific questions or problems, talk to one of our trainers.