No time for exercise? Too busy to eat right? What kind of a toll is it all taking on your health?
There's a simple test you can do just about anywhere that's been proven to predict how long you'll live. A doctor in Brazil invented the Sitting Rising Test or SRT, and he's proven it can predict your risk of dying in the next five years.
When it comes to figuring out how healthy you are, and long you might live, a cardiac stress test is often considered the gold-standard for giving doctors very specific information.
"What we're doing from a stress test standpoint is what we call risk stratifying somebody for their risk for a heart attack, and dying from a heart attack in the next one, three, or five years," says Dr. Michael Lim, director of the Division of Cardiology at Saint Louis University Hospital.
But what if you could predict your longevity quickly, easily and without even leaving your home? Scientific studies over the past 15 years have proven if you have trouble getting down and getting back off the floor, it's nothing to laugh at.
We asked Show Me St. Louis anchor Heidi Glaus to try it.
"Oh, there's no way!" said Heidi. "Am I supposed to sit and not use my hands? Oh, that's not going to happen."
SRT is tallied on a scale of one to 10. On her first try, Heidi scored a 6.
"I better start stretching now," said Heidi.
"Do you work out a lot?" asked Kay Quinn.
"Yes," said Heidi, "but apparently not the right way!"
She's actually on to something. Dr. Claudio Gil Araujo, MD, PhD, is a specialist in exercise and sports medicine. He also works with cardiac patients at Clínica de Medicina do Exercício – Clinimex, in Rio de Janeiro Brazil, and invented SRT to easily measure non-aerobic physical fitness.
In an interview via Skype from his home in Rio, he said the idea for SRT came from observing his older, sedentary patients who could pass basic aerobic tests.
"Many of them are able to bike or to run on a treadmill," said Dr. Araujo, "but if you asked them could you tie your shoes, it's pretty difficult to do that. We realized not only aerobic fitness is important. You also need other things for your life: strength, flexibility, balance."
The goal is to get down and back up from a sitting position with minimal support. It can be used in all age groups, and results are based on a scale of one to 10. Score three or less and your risk of dying is five times greater over the next five years.
It may look and sound easy, but here's how it's done. You cross your feet, and go into a seated position. That's five points. Coming back up is another 5. But you can lose points really fast.
You lose a point for each hand, arm or knee you need for support. Take off a half-point when you lose your balance at any time, either on the way down or coming back up.
Total them all for your final score. If you have bad knees or hips, don't try this alone.
"Have a friend, have a spouse, have a friend with us when we do this," said Dr. Lim.
Be sure to take your shoes off, and wear comfortable clothes.
Meteorologist Cindy Preszler: a little shaky on the way down, but a very impressive 9.5. Sara Dayley, a perfect 10.
Art Holliday is a little off balance.
"That's immediately the thing that you notice," said Art. "You try to steady yourself and lower yourself and at 6'4", it's a little problematic." We'll give him a 7.5.
But for every point you get, there's a 21 percent decrease in mortality from all causes. Dr. Lim, says it makes sense.
"The more active we are the better we can accommodate stressors the more likely we are to handle something bad that happens down the road," said Dr. Lim.
Reporter Ryan Dean scored an 8.5.
"I struggle at many things, add this one to the list Kay," said Ryan.
As for Heidi, she's still working on it.
"Can you hear the cracking in the knee?" she said.
Dr. Araujo's data has been published in American and European medical journals. By the way, he says if you're over 50 and score a perfect 10, you should be proud, because not many people in the age group can do it.