Simple sit-and-rise test predicts how long you'll live

Brazilian physician Claudio Gil Araujo was at Changi General Hospital on Tuesday morning to deliver a seminar on physical fitness, and the various ways in which fitness could be measured. -- ST PHOTO: AZIZ HUSSIN 
Brazilian physician Claudio Gil Araujo was at Changi General Hospital on Tuesday morning to deliver a seminar on physical fitness, and the various ways in which fitness could be measured. -- ST PHOTO: AZIZ HUSSIN 

SINGAPORE - The ability to sit and rise without the use of a hand, forearm or knee could predict mortality, according to Dr Claudio Gil Araujo.

The Brazilian physician was at Changi General Hospital on Tuesday morning to deliver a seminar on physical fitness, and the various ways in which fitness could be measured.

The seminar was part of the Exercise is Medicine Singapore (EIMS) programme to promote physical activity.

One such example is the sitting-rising test, also known as SRT. The test is simple: sit down, stand up, repeat.

Although simple, the basic movements of lowering to the floor and standing back up is a gauge of a person's muscular strength, flexibility, balance and muscle composition - all components of physical fitness.

Each movement is scored on a scale of 1-5, and one point is subtracted if a hand or knee is used for support.

In a study, results showed that those with a score between 0 and 3 are more than five times as likely to die within the same period, compared to those who scored between 8 and 10.

Said Dr Claudio of the test: "If you lose balance, you lose a point. It is very straightforward and simple for patients to understand the results. You can even do a self assessment, all you need is enough space."

"The SRT is easy to implement and will be able to impact a huge public," said director of Changi Sports Medicine Centre, Dr Kelvin Chew.

"It would be useful as a simple screening test to identify those who need more exercise, especially given our ageing population."

"The test has also been validated and proven to be reliable, so we have more confidence in implementing the test in Singapore."

ngilaine@sph.com.sg