Struggling To Do This 1 Exercise May Reveal Serious Health Risks

It could help you to find out about your heart health.
Olga Rolenko via Getty Images

Just when I thought my Zumba obsession was enough to keep me healthy, along comes the news that those who cannot sit down and stand up without the use of their hands may be at higher risk of mortality.

A 2014 study by the European Society of Cardiology found that among their participants aged 51-80 years, those who could not perform the exercise were more likely to pass away sooner.

They assigned scores to every step of the exercise; speaking to TODAY, Dr. Natalie Azar said that “the lower the score, [the participants] were seven times more likely to die in the next six years.”

“Eight points or higher is what you want,” she added.

How can I measure my score?

The exercise involves standing up, sitting down from that position, and then standing up again ― all without the use of your hands.

The study used the following scoring system: you should begin by standing up. At this point, you have a starting score of 10 points.

Then, get into a cross-legged position on the floor before rising back to a standing position.

Deduct one point for each instance where you rely on your hand, knee, forearm, or the side of your leg for assistance during the process.

If you can switch between sitting and standing without any aid, you’d get perfect score of 10. But if you’re unable to stand up unassisted, your score would be zero.

Should I panic if I don’t get a perfect 10?

Basically, no. Firstly, healthy individuals should aim for eight or higher ― it doesn’t have to be a perfect 10. (I usually land on a nine, and am a regular gym goer, for what it’s worth).

Secondly, those who performed worst in the study tended to be older, and thus were more likely to pass away to begin with.

Then, there’s the fact that, per Dr. Azar, “The test also doesn’t account for musculoskeletal limitations.” Injuries and other complications may skew your result.

The test is only designed to test musculoskeletal fitness, the study says ― the sit-to-stand test was chosen as “a simple and safe assessment tool,” but it’s only one such example.

If you’re otherwise fit, you may want to take your existing strength, endurance, and flexibility into account in other ways.

So, it’s not at all the case that if you struggle with the sit-to-stand test, you’ll definitely pass away in a matter of years. Dr. Azar says that you should “take [your score] it with a grain of salt.”

But it can help us to remember, she says, that “as we get older, we spend time talking about cardiovascular health and aerobic fitness, but balance, flexibility and agility are also really important.”


If you cant do this test you could be at risk! #health #learnontiktok

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