Each additional support needed to get to and rise from a sitting position on the floor -- knee, hands, etc. -- was associated with a 21% lower chance of survival over about 6 years of follow-up in a trial online in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.
The survival odds differed by 5.44-fold between the highest and lowest scorers on the sit-rise test after adjustment for age, sex, and body mass index.
A maximum of 10 points was possible, 5 for sitting and 5 for rising without any supports. Each support (hand, forearm, knee, side of leg, or hand on the knee) used took away 1 point; and participants could lose an additional 0.5 points for an unsteady performance.
Over the median 6.3 years of follow-up for mortality in state vital status registries, nearly 8% of the cohort died. Sit-rise test scores tended to be poorer at older ages, but the association between all-cause mortality and score persisted with adjustment for age as well as sex and body mass index.
The hazard ratios compared with the highest-scoring, 8-to 10-point group were (all statistically significant):
5.44 for lowest scores (0 to 3 points)
3.44 for scores of 3.5 to 5.5
1.84 for scores of 6 to 7.5