Have you ever wished you could peer inside a crystal ball and know how long you were likely to live?

What if you could perform a simple test in your own living room that provided a window into your fitness level and even your predicted lifespan?

Brazilian researchers led by Dr. Claudio Gil Araujo have developed a way to score a simple physical maneuver that predicts the chances of patients living or dying in the next five years.

The test, called the sitting-rising test, or “SRT” for short, helps doctors quickly identify patients who are at risk of dying, even if their hearts and lungs appear healthy.

Curious? Here’s how the test works: from a standing position, and without touching anything, gently lower yourself to a cross-legged seated position on the floor. Then stand up again, again without touching or leaning on anything. For each half of the maneuver you can complete, you earn five points for a total of ten. Each time you need to use a hand or a limb to support yourself, take off a point. Take off one half a point if your balance wobbles during either part of the maneuver.

Araujo found that the higher a patient scored on this test, the greater the likelihood he or she would survive over the next five years. In fact, each additional point boosted survival by a whopping 21 percent.

Since the test requires no special equipment, feel free to give it a try at home.

If you score a nine or a ten (especially if you’re over 50), give yourself a pat on the back. You’re probably incorporating some fitness-promoting activities into your lifestyle, and it shows.

If you lose a few points stabilizing yourself with a hand or recovering your balance, don’t panic! Many people lose some ability to function at their peak level of fitness as they get older. According to the National Institute on Aging, however, age itself isn’t the culprit. Instead, inactivity usually leads to these losses.

The beautiful reality is this: physical fitness is fluid no matter your age, and even something as simple as repeating the test a few times a day can reap real improvements in your balance, flexibility and strength. Add a few extra exercises that target musculoskeletal health, like these and you have a recipe for a perfect ten on Araujo’s test.

It can improve your day-to-day functioning, allowing you to do more of the things you love. And it might even add a few years to your life.

Source:  Care2.com     by Terita Heath-Wlaz