The Sitting Rising Test and what it could mean for you

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The Sitting Rising Test (SRT) was invented by Dr. Claudio Gil Araujo, a specialist in exercise and sports medicine in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He said the idea for the test came to him while observing many of his elderly patients, many of whom could pass basic aerobic fitness tests on a treadmill or stationary bike but found themselves unable to bend down and pick up something off the floor or tie their own shoes. He says that though cardiorespiratory fitness is strongly related to survival, there is limited data regarding musculoskeletal fitness factors. His aim was to evaluate the association between the ability to sit and rise from the floor and mortality. The test measures other important health and fitness factors like strength, flexibility, and balance that are also key indicators of longevity.

To perform the test you should take your shoes off and have a friend or a spouse stand by when you attempt it. Also, if you have bad hips or knees, don’t attempt it alone without the help of a professional.

Here’s how it goes... stand and cross one leg in front of the other then sit down on the floor without using your hands, knees, or any other body part for support. Once your seated in ‘criss-cross-applesauce’ position (as they say in elementary school), stand back up again the same way you came down without the any other body part for support. Results are based on a scale of 1 to 10. A perfect score would be 5 on the way down and 5 on the way up. You lose one point each for any of these additional bases of support:

  • Hand
  • Knee
  • Forearm
  • One hand on knee or thigh
  • Side of the leg

Also you get a half a point if you lose balance at any point along the way. For every point you get, there’s a 21% decrease in mortality from all causes. Score three or less and your risk of dying is five times greater over the next five years. So it’s a general indicator. The test reveals immediately, and sometimes shockingly, the reality about your overall condition and level of mobility. 

The point is that the ability to get up off the floor without using your hands is normal for every active human being. Or it should be. Those of us with physical challenges have a legitimate reason but not so the rest of us.

American sustainable fitness coach, Steve Maxwell, named one of the top 100 trainers in the USA by Men’s Journal, is one of many who claims that sitting is the new smoking. That may sound like an overstatement but it speaks to the damaging effects that our excessive sitting and sedentary lifestyles will have on us. The list is long including bad posture, higher risk of diabetes, etc. But one of those damaging effects is the loss of ability to get up from or down on the floor with ease.

Dr. Michael Lim, director of the Division of Cardiology at Saint Louis University Hospital said this about the SRT and active lifestyles, "The more active we are the better we can accommodate stressors the more likely we are to handle something bad that happens down the road."

I couldn't agree more. That’s why we focus on building and practicing proper corrective human movement patterns as the foundation for all our fitness training. If you can’t perform the SRT with a score of at least 8 you really need to take steps now to reclaim your ability to move. Contact us, carve out some time in your schedule, and let us help you gain mobility! 

See these additional links:

BBC - How To Stay Young

Discover Magazine

USA Today

European Journal of Preventative Cardiology