Not too long ago there was a study that stated that getting up from the floor without using your hands proved you were more likely to live longer. Studies like this that look at a very small variable and use it to make very broad assumptions are problematic. So what does this study really show?
In case you aren’t familiar with this study here’s a quick video talking about it:
Getting Up from the Floor Without Using Your Hands
This study claims if you can get down to the floor into a cross sit position and back up without using any extra body parts like a hand or a knee, you are more likely to live a long life. You need a lot more information than just this test to make a reasonable evaluation of someone’s life expectancy though. So then, what does this test actually show?
This test demands a fair amount of stability in the ankle, knee, and hip joints as well as a fair degree of strength. In truth, in a healthy, mobile person this test should be absolutely no challenge at all. If you sit on the floor regularly, you probably do this maneuver often when you get up.
Why would this test have a correlation with life expectancy? Because generally, people who are stronger and more mobile are often healthier. Mind you not just because they are more active. But people who are more active also tend to live a healthier lifestyle in general.
This is a very small test that by and large tends to highlight active, healthy individuals. Is it possible a hard-drinking, chain-smoking individual could perform this task? Of course, it’s possible. Although that person would definitely not be the norm.
There are a lot of health indicators that are left out of this test. A ton actually! Like what you ask? How about cardiovascular efficiency. What about relative strength. Eye-hand coordination is also important. Diet is a major factor. And lifestyle choices are also incredibly important.
Does getting up from the floor without using your hands really matter? Don’t get too focused on improving your performance toward a single “life expectancy enhancing test”. Every once in a while one of these studies shows up and everyone gets excited to try it. Just focus on improving your diet, getting lots of quality movement, and making good choices and you won’t have to pay any attention to these one-off studies.
If you’d like to evaluate the validity of studies better, check out my article Can You Trust the Finding in Studies.