Quick Fitness Test – Sit Rising Test

TL;DR – You should be able to go from standing to sitting on the floor and back to standing without using anything to help you up or down. The older you are, the more it matters.

The Test

Okay, I’m sure you are all masters of the 2 minute plank now. If not, maybe it’s because you didn’t read this. It is time to take a look at our second quick fitness test. The Sit Rising Test (SRT). The test is very simple. Go from standing to sitting cross legged, and then from sitting back to standing. The goal is to perform the movements WITHOUT losing your balance or using anything to stabilize yourself (i.e. putting your hand or knee on the ground). If you can’t picture what I’m saying watch this https://youtu.be/1tdtHWURId0 video. Remember I said simple, not easy. Scoring is straightforward as well, for every body part you need to use to brace yourself, you lose a point, and if you’re wobbly you lose a half point. A perfect score is 10 (5 points for the standing-to-sitting portion and 5 points for the sitting-to-standing portion). The benchmark is a score of 8 or better. Some voices in health and fitness feel there are some concerns that pre-existing injuries to the hips, knees, and ankles, or bone fragility are good cause to avoid performing this test. While I certainly encourage everyone to exercise caution, I don’t believe that this test has to be avoided. I encourage people to aim for an honest assessment. What that means is that if you need to use your hand on the ground, then use it. You can test your hip, knee, and ankle flexibility simply by trying to get into a cross legged position from an already seated position. If you have bone fragility issues to the point that just sitting down might break them, then you should be addressing this with a doctor.

Uh-Oh, I didn’t score an 8 or higher

Being able to do the SRT with a score of 8 or better is an indicator of good musculoskeletal health. If your score was less than this, it means you need to improve. This movement series will test hip, knee, and ankle flexibility, lower body strength, and core stability. A great way to start improving those things are with squats. Read this earlier post about why I love squats and really recommend adding them to your routine. At Align Chiropractic we are focused on improving the underlying structural issues that may be occuring in your musculoskeletal system – a low score is an indicator that you might have a structural problem holding you back. Also, don’t try and rush into a perfect score. Take your time making small, but steady, improvements, and then try the test again after giving yourself adequate time to improve. Note where you have difficulties and look for specific improvements in those areas.

Why Do We Care?

While the Sit Rising Test has some detractors, according to a study in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, the test is a good predictor of musculoskeletal fitness. The study showed SRT actually was a good predictor of all-cause mortality in 51-80 year olds. The study did a 6 year follow up on participants and found that there was a strong relationship for death and a lower score. The higher your score the lower the risk of death. (1) This means that at the 6 year follow up people with lower scores were more likely to have died than those with higher scores regardless of the specific cause of death. Now further study is certainly warranted, but this isn’t the first study to associate musculoskeletal health and mortality rates. The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that a hyperkyphotic posture (anterior head posture) was also a significant predictor of mortality in older persons. (2) Clearly your musculoskeletal health matters, and it isn’t just about aches and pains.