A good sense of balance is key to survival and safety here on the “homestead.” Far from medical help, we’re extremely vulnerable to injury from falls. I have spoken of this here on the blog in the past (see How Spruce Needles May Be Our Key to Aging in Place). We have found a test for balance and flexibility that may even have interesting implications for our longevity in other ways than basic survival.
While visiting for Thanksgiving, I thumbed through my dad’s current copy of Discover Magazine, and found an article on the Sitting Rising Test (SRT).
Brazilian physician Claudio Gil Araujo developed this simple test, designed to be quick, easy, and decisive. He says that how one does in the test can predict one’s longevity. In other words, the better one can perform the test, the more likely one will live a longer life (assuming one has full use of one’s joints, no amputations, etc.—the commentors on the Web page make some good points in that regard).
The test is simple: from a standing position, sit down on the floor, then stand up again, without leaning on anything or using your hands, elbows, knees, or the sides of your legs for support. The goal is to keep the perfect score of 10, without losing points for stumbling or using supports.
I introduced the test to the family, and of course, we had to try it. I assumed it would be difficult, but found that we could do it easily. Thankfully, everyone who participated scored perfectly, indicating that we might enjoy many more family gatherings in the future. More importantly, it showed that we’re well balanced. For us, and for visiting family as well, that has more immediate indications of our chances of surviving here on the “homestead.”