DON'T TRY #1 ALONE! Samantha Lafave, in “How Fit Are You Really?” presents a list of moves that she indicates will test your fitness level and provide information on areas of weakness that need extra work.
There are many such tests that employ a variety of other moves, but these 5 have been part of fitness center pre-testing I’ve been through before. Each requires strength, flexibility and balance. The very first item, the “seated to standing” assessment, is by far the most difficult, especially for people over 50 years of age.
1) Seated to standing (or Sitting-Rising Test- SRT); no support from hands, arms, knees
2) Overhead squat: perform 3-5 reps
3) Lateral plank: hold 30-45 seconds
4) Full body push-up with 4 and 8 o’clock hand positioning: 3-4
5) Stabilized lunge: 3-5 per leg
Lafave doesn’t fully explain that the SRT has been used by some to assess longevity in her short piece. A 2015 USAToday article by Kay Quinn describes the thinking of the medical doctor who developed the test and why performance might help predict life expectancy, “How Long Will You Live? Try the Sitting Rising Test.”
The USAToday.com article provides a better description of how the SRT is performed.
“The goal is to get down and back up from a sitting position with minimal support. It can be used in all age groups, and results are based on a scale of one to 10. Score three or less and your risk of dying is five times greater over the next 5 years”
Re-worded a bit, here are the directions provided in the USAToday.com article: Standing, with shoes off, cross your feet and ease down into a seated position. That’s 5 points. Come back up to full standing position. That’s another 5 points. Subtract a point for each hand, arm, or knee used for support going down and coming back up. Take a half point off any time you lose your balance, again both going down or coming back up. Total your points. The highest possible score is 10.
Readers are cautioned, if you have bad knees or hips, don’t risk injury by performing this alone. A spouse, family or friend can help, it advises.
When I first performed this test about 3 years ago I was happy because I scored an 8.5. I intended to work to improve that score Now that I have a knee issue, it’s a 7.5.
The validity of the claims for this fitness test has been questioned.
Dr. Claudio Gil Araujo, MD, PhD, who created the SRT indicated in the article, “not only aerobic fitness is important. You also need other things for your life: strength, flexibility, balance."
Perhaps the way safest way to use this test is to assess over time whether or not our score is changing. It can provide motivation to work on areas like balance, flexibility and strength, realizing that aerobic fitness may not accurately predict later functional quality of life.
Like weight that creeps up over time, or down in the case of frailty, disability can slowly have an unwelcome effect on our lives. The SRT is a difficult test, try the others offered by Lafave to measure your fitness level, if the SRT results are disheartening. These other tests are also the exercises that you would perform to improve.
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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