Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Longevity Predicted by SRT

Photo by Harry Harris.
Yesterday, a friend of mine posted a link to the Death Clock on his Facebook page.

According to this simple test, I can expect to live until age 83.

While more accurate than a reading of my lifeline, the Death Clock hasn't been vetted research.

The Sitting-Rising Test (SRT), however, is backed by data that makes it a more persuasive predictor of longevity.

Published by Brazilian physician Claudio Gil Araujo in November of 2012, the research on SRT shows that a simple evaluation of having someone rise from a seated position on the floor demonstrates their longevity.

Why? The action requires balance, core strength and flexibility -- which are all markers of health that correlate with longevity.  The more the person uses his or her hands, arms, or side of the leg to stand, the fewer points earned.

One summary of this study explains the results this way:
The researchers found that the vast majority of deaths were among people who had low SRT scores. The data showed someone with a top score (8-10) could expect to live about three years longer than a person of the same age, sex, and BMI in the poorest-scoring group (0-3). 
Here is a short video that explains the test, the scoring system and the health benefits of high scores:

Here is a longer video (in Portuguese with English subtitles) that gives a clearer demonstration of the point system used by evaluators:

If you have trouble rising from the floor, work with a personal trainer or a physical therapist to improve your core strength, balance and flexibility.


Walking Rate Correlated to Life Expectancy
Life Span vs. Life Expectancy


  1. I think this is pretty difficult for anyone over 30. I would be surprised if even 30% of adults could do this without a little support of some kind. I notice in the first video the fellow does not do it correctly for us.

    1. I agree. I am 52. My BMI is 22.5. I work out 5-10 hours a week with a combination of cardio, yoga and weights. I thought that I would be able to do this easily. I can only do this with a score of 8 most of the time, 9 with a little luck. (And I am an intermediate yoga practitioner.) I have friends with bad knees who would get much lower scores. He just published this in 2012 with data drawn from 2,002 participants observed over about 6 years. I will be interested to see how this test predicts with larger data sets and longer time frames.

  2. These life calculators seem overly pessimistic to me. I've never been able to do the sitting exercise (I can't cross my legs), so according to that I should have kicked the bucket decades ago. And the Death Clock predicts I'll die at age 81. But other measures, like the one offered by u penn., have me still living and breathing at age 89 or 90. So ... I'll choose to believe the other ones!

    1. I agree that there are flaws to this and other longevity tests. People should just do their best each day to improve (or at least maintain) their health through diet, exercise, stress management and smoking cessation. These tests work well with large data sets, but individuals can defy the patterns that researchers are trying to affirm!