London: A simple test which asks people who are middle aged and above to sit on the floor and stand up with as little support as possible can predict mortality, scientists claim.
The ability to sit on the floor before rising to a standing position is closely linked to all causes of death, according to a new study.
Researchers found that adults who needed to use a number of aids such as their hands and knees to get off the floor were six times more likely to die than those who didn`t.
It supports previous research that found musculo-skeletal fitness is a strong predictor of health in the middle aged and above, the `Daily Mail` reported.
Tests on more than 2,000 men and women in Brazil were `remarkably predictive` or mortality rates.
"If a middle-aged or older man or woman can sit and rise from the floor using just one hand - or even better without the help of a hand - they are not only in the higher quartile of musculo-skeletal fitness but their survival prognosis is probably better than that of those unable to do so," study leader Dr Claudio Arazjo, from the Exercise Medicine Clinic in Rio de Janeiro, said.
The test was a simple assessment of the subjects` ability to sit and then rise unaided from the floor. It was performed in 2,002 adults aged between 51 to 80 years.
The subjects were followed-up from the date of the baseline test until the date of death or 31 October 2011, a median follow-up of 6.3 years.
Before starting the test, they were told that without worrying about the speed of movement, they have to try to sit and then rise from the floor, using the minimum support that they believe is needed.
Each of the two basic movements were assessed and scored out of five, with one point being subtracted from five for each support used (hand or knee, for example).
Over the study period 159 subjects died, a mortality rate of 7.9 per cent.
The majority of these deaths occurred in people with low test scores - only two of the deaths were in subjects who gained a composite score of 10.
Overall, subjects in the lower score range of the sitting test had a five to six times higher risk of death than those in the higher groups.
Scores of eight and above had a particularly low risk of death in the tracking period, and each one point increase in score was related to a 21 per cent reduction in mortality.
The study was published in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention.