We know the numerous health benefits of fitness, but it isn't every day that exercise is used to predict a person's death.
According to a study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, the act of sitting down and standing up again - without holding onto anything for support - could offer an insight into how long you'll live.
Researchers developed a score system to sit alongside the test and found that people who scored three points or less were five times more likely to die within six years than those who scored over eight points. Now that's scary.
Also known as the sitting-rising test (SRT), the exercise is used to measure the strength and flexibility of patients, and involves lowering your body into a cross-legged position and then standing back up (without holding on to anything - or anyone).
The test, led by Brazilian physician Claudio Gil Araujo, involved studying over 2000 adults aged between 51 and 80-years-old.
Each person was asked to perform a sitting-rising test (SRT) to and from the floor, which was scored from zero to five, with one point being subtracted from five for each support used (for example, a hand or knee).
The final score, varying from 0 to 10, was obtained by adding the sitting and rising scores. The results were then stratified into four categories for analysis: 0-3; 3.5–5.5, 6–7.5, and 8–10.
Researchers found, after following up the test participants six years later, that there were 159 deaths. And, surprise surprise, those who had died had received considerably lower scores in the sitting-rising test.
The study concludes: "Musculoskeletal fitness, as assessed by SRT, was a significant predictor of mortality in subjects aged between 51 and 80-years-old."
Chartered physio-therapist Sammy Margo told the Daily Mail that the exercise could be ambitious for older people in the UK because Britons are not used to regularly sitting on the floor. So, it may not be terribly accurate at predicting life expectancy.
She also mentioned that there's a risk of elderly people straining themselves when trying the exercise.
"The advice is not to endorse the test – it sounds as if it is somewhat simplistic and it is not widely used," she said.
Curious to try the SRT test? Give it a go and let us know how you get on by commenting below! Remember: sit, stand, repeat...Suggest a correction