In 2012 a research team designed the “sitting-rising” exercise that seemed to predict mortality in those 51 – 80 years old. Over 2000 adults were tested. Essentially it tests strength as well as hip mobility and how it may be related to mortality.
According to the CDC, over 61% of U.S. residents over 65 died from fall-related causes in 2016. Although there are other factors that can come into play, it’s a good reminder that moving well is just as important as other aspects of health/fitness (like heart-health, body composition, muscular strength, bone density, etc).
What is the sitting-rising test?
Sit on the ground and cross your legs. Try standing up from the cross-leg position without touching the ground. Success? Cross your legs the other way and try again!
Start with a score of 10
Subtract 1 point for each time a body part other than your feet touches the ground
Subtract 1 point for placing hand on the knee
Subtract 0.5 points for loss of balance
I took the test…now what?
Bottom line: if you don’t continue to move and put your body through different ranges of mobility, it will go away. Have aches and pains with movement? Try these tips!
1. Start with your feet!
Go barefoot, roll your feet with a tennis ball, walk on a rock mat, give your feet a daily massage/”gymnastics”. Take care of your feet! They are the gateway to your body.
2. Change the way you sit!
When we sit a lot, we tighten our hip flexors which causes the glutes to lengthen and compensate (which can often result in back pain). Our core strength can also be diminished.
Rather than sitting at a computer or on the couch watching TV, try squatting, using a stability ball, using a tall-kneeling position, using a half-kneeling position, sitting back on the heels and/or a combination of all the above.
Offset tight hip flexors and underactive glutes by adding in single leg hip lifts into your exercise routine a number of times per week.
3. Get more mobile!
Are you mobile enough? Another simple test to check your general strength and mobility is to place your feet next to each other and squat down, keeping your heels on the ground. The movement should be simple and pretty effortless.
Today, RIGHT NOW, add some hip mobility into your day with 5-10 reps of “The World’s Greatest Stretch”.
4. Train the postural muscles!
Try sitting on the edge of your chair to keep challenging your body and core strength. Start with 1 minute, and add an extra minute every day for a month. In no time you will be watching an entire episode of your favorite TV show on the edge of your seat with little effort!