A recent paper in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology December 13, 2012 has evaluated the musculoskeletal fitness indicators (through the individuals ability to site and rise) and all-cause mortality.
In the experiment, 2002 adults aged 51–80 years (68% men) performed a sitting-rising test (SRT) to and from the floor, which was scored from 0 to 5, with one point being subtracted from 5 for each support used (hand/knee). Final SRT score, varying from 0 to 10, was obtained by adding sitting and rising scores and stratified in four categories for analysis: 0–3; 3.5–5.5, 6–7.5, and 8–10.
The individuals were followed after the above experiment. The median follow up was 6.3 years and there were 159 deaths (7.9%). Lower SRT scores were associated with higher mortality (p < 0.001). A continuous trend for longer survival was reflected by multivariate-adjusted (age, sex, body mass index) hazard ratios of 5.44 (95% CI 3.1–9.5), 3.44 (95% CI 2.0–5.9), and 1.84 (95% CI 1.1–3.0) (p < 0.001) from lower to higher SRT scores. Each unit increase in SRT score conferred a 21% improvement in survival.
The report concludes that musculoskeletal fitness, as assessed by SRT, was a significant predictor of mortality in 51–80-year-old subjects. Application of a simple and safe assessment tool such as SRT, which is influenced by muscular strength and flexibility, in general health examinations could add relevant information regarding functional capabilities and outcomes in non-hospitalized adults.