Can You Pass the Longevity Test?

This deceptively simple measure of flexibility and strength can predict if you will have a long life.

streching illustration
Chris Philpot for Reader’s Digest

Sit. Stand. Repeat. The trick: You can’t use your hands. This deceptively simple measure of flexibility and strength can predict who will live longer, according to a study by Brazilian physician Claudio Gil Araújo.

The study came about when Dr. Araújo noticed that many of his patients, particularly older people, had trouble with ordinary motions such as bending down to pick up something from the floor. As people age, he knew, reduced muscle power and loss of balance could greatly increase the risk of dangerous falls.

So Dr. Araújo and his colleagues developed the sitting-rising test, or SRT, to determine a person’s core strength, flexibility, and longevity.

Try It!
• Stand with bare feet in a clear space.
• Lower yourself to a sitting position on the floor, trying not to use your hands, knees, forearms, or the sides of your legs.
• Now stand back up, again without leaning or using your limbs for help.

Scoring (ten-point scale)
• SITTING: Start with five points. Subtract one point each time a limb is used for support. Subtract half a point for loss of balance.
• STANDING: Add five points to your “sitting” score. Now subtract points per rules above.
• RESULTS: According to Dr. Araújo, people who scored fewer than eight points on the test were twice as likely to die within the next six years compared with those who wound up scoring higher; those who scored three or fewer points were more than five times as likely to die within the same period.

Using limbs for support (seen below) as you move from sitting to standing and back again detracts from your final score. The goal is to maintain balance from your core.

instructional drawings
Chris Philpot

Want to stay smart and healthy?

Get our weekly Health Reads newsletter

how we use your e-mail
We will use your email address to send you the newsletter each week, and we may also send you occasional special offers from Reader's Digest. For more information please read our privacy policy.

Some people like to travel by train because 
it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of 
an airplane.

Dennis Miller

I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”

Kevin Nealon

“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” 
—Everyone following you on Instagram


A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.

Comedian Greg Davies

Funny Jokes

Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.


Funny Jokes

Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.


Funny Jokes

My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
everything you know.”


Funny Jokes

“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 

@yoyoha (Josh Hara)

Funny Jokes

My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.

—Jerry Seinfeld

Funny Jokes

Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?

A: A mechanic.

Fields marked with an * are required
Foods That Harm Foods That HealWant a Free eBook?
FOODS THAT HARM, FOODS THAT HEAL offers important information about the role diet plays in the struggle against heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other serious illnesses. Answer the question below to receive your FREE digital eBook.

Someone in my household experiences the following conditions:

Send me a link to download FOODS THAT HARM, FOODS THAT HEAL:
By clicking below, I agree to the Trusted Media Brands Privacy Policy