Forget having a palm reader analyse the length at your life line, a simple test could hold the clues to longevity.
Monitoring a series of short exercises could predict whether someone in middle age is at risk of an early death, according to a recent study.
Men aged 53 who can stand up and sit down fewer than 23 times a minute are twice as likely to die before the age of 66. The number drops to 22 for women of the same age.
On the flipside, if men are able to perform the above exercise more than 37 times (or 35 times for women).
In another test, men able to balance on one leg with eyes closed for longer than 10 seconds, will be likely to be living a healthy life at 66 years old. Those able to hold the position for less than two seconds were three times more likely to die before the age of 66.
Researchers also found that a stronger hand shake indicates larger cerebral brain volume as well as better performance on cognitive tests.
The study involved 1,355 men and 1,411 women, and participants completed the tests during home visits from specially-trained nurses.
Dr Rachel Cooper at the Medical Research Council said: “The majority of these studies are done in older people but we have shown that even in this younger age group, where you would not expect pre-existing disease, we are still seeing these measures are picking up some underlying ageing and disease process.”
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She added: "Even at this relatively young age these measures identify groups of people who are less likely than others to achieve a long and healthy life."
The study was conducted by the Medical Research Council.