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There are three simple fitness tests that can predict how long you will live for, a new study has found. Straightforward tests like standing up and sitting down from a chair, balancing on one leg and gripping tightly can be used to show the risk of early death in middle aged subjects.
The study by the Medical Research Council followed 5000 people born in 1946 for their whole lives and who had done the three tests at the age of 53. For the subjects the simple tests turned out to be very accurate predictors of life expectancy. Even for younger people the tests were found to show some of the underlying ageing and onset of disease processes.
The three tests are standing up and sitting down from a chair, balancing on one leg with eyes closed and a grip strength test on a special piece of equipment.
For men, getting up and down from the chair less then 23 times in a minute spelled trouble; they were twice as likely to die in the next 13 years (from 53-66 years old) as those who scored well on the test – getting 37 or more.
For women those who could get up and down less that 22 times in a minute were again twice as likely to die in the next 13 years as those who could do it 33 times or more.
Those unable to do the test at all were 7 times as likely to die in the next 13 years.
Standing on one leg with eyes closed was the next test. Less than 3 seconds for both men and women meant that they were 3 times more likely to die than those that could hold it for 10 seconds or more. Those who fell over straight away were 12 times more likely to die in the next 13 years.
In grip strength a score over 50kg for men and 31kg for women was deemed a good indicator of a healthy long life. Those who gripped less that 48kg (men) and 28kg (women) were at a much higher risk of an early death. You will need an electronic handgrip dynamometer for this one.
Try the tests! Record how you do, practice, then test again! Of course a good PT will help you ace the scores.