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Flexible People Live Longer

Update Date: Dec 17, 2012 06:32 AM EST

Start flexing your muscles right away if you want to live longer, for a new research suggests that flexible people live longer.

According to the new study, people who have difficulty getting up from the floor without using both hands are more likely to live shorter than their flexible counterparts who need no hands at all to sit down and get up from the floor.

Scientists through this new study are suggesting that people who have to get up on their knees or use two hands may be six times more likely to have a premature death.

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For the study, the researchers conducted a simple two-minute test that could predict overall fitness in middle-aged people.

Speaking about the test, Dr. Claudio Gil Araújo, who carried out the study along with his colleagues at the Clinimex-Exercise Medicine Clinic in Rio de Janeiro, said that it was "remarkably predictive" of physical strength, flexibility and coordination at different ages.

"If a middle-aged or older man or woman can sit and rise from the floor using just one hand - or even better without the help of a hand - they are not only in the higher quartile of musculo-skeletal fitness but their survival prognosis is probably better than that of those unable to do so," Araújo was quoted as saying by Mail Online.

More than 2,000 men and women, aged between 51 and 80, participated in the study, where they were asked to sit and get up from the floor without assistance. Later, the researchers followed up on the participants till either their death or Oct. 31, 2011 (six years on an average).

The researchers assessed the basic movements of the participants (sitting down and getting up from the floor) and rated them.

In the time course of the research, more than 159 (8 percent) participants died. The researchers found that the survivors had also scored well in the test conducted by them and there was a strong link between survival of the participants and the points scored by them.

Taking into account the age, gender and BMI of participants, the researchers said that the sitting-rising test score was a significant independent predictor chance of death from any cause.

"Our study also shows that maintaining high levels of body flexibility, muscle strength, power-to-body weight ratio and co-ordination are not only good for performing daily activities but have a favourable influence on life expectancy," Dr. Araújo said.

The study was reported in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention.

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