Lower musculoskeletal fitness predicted higher mortality rates

Musculoskeletal fitness assessed by a sitting-rising test significantly predicted mortality in participants 51 to 80 years of age, according to recent study results published in The European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

Researchers scored 2,002 adults aged 51 to 80 years old from 0 to 5 as they performed a sitting-rising test (SRT), with one point being subtracted from five for each support used — such as a hand or knee. Participants were told to try to sit and then rise from the floor, using the minimum support that they believed to be necessary, without worrying about speed of movement.

By adding sitting and rising scores, the researchers calculated final SRT scores, varying from 0 to 10, and stratified in four categories for analysis: 0 to 3, 3.5 to 5.5, 6 to 7.5 and 8 to 10.

One hundred fifty nine participants died over a 6.3 year follow-up period. Study results showed that lower SRT scores were associated with higher mortality and that survival in each of the four categories differed with high statistical significance. When controlled for age, gender and BMI, these differences persisted, suggesting that the SRT score is a significant predictor of all-cause mortality.

The researchers said that a high score on the test might indicate the capacity to successfully perform a variety of activities of daily living.

“It is well known that aerobic fitness is strongly related to survival, but our study also shows that maintaining high levels of body flexibility, muscle strength, power-to-body weight ratio and co-ordination are not only good for performing daily activities, but have a favorable influence on life expectancy,” Claudio Gil Araujo, of the Clinimex – Exercise Medicine Clinic in Rio de Janeiro, stated in a press release. “When compared to other approaches to functional testing the sitting-rising test does not require specific equipment and is safe, easy to apply in a short time period and reliably scored. In our clinical practice, the test has been shown over the past 10 years to be useful and practical for application to a large spectrum of populations, ranging from pediatric to geriatric.”

Disclosure: Araujo had no relevant financial disclosures.

For more information:

Barreto de Brito LB. Eur J PrevCardiol.2012;doi:10.1177/2047487312471759.

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