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Does your life depend on it?


A bold statement but a recent study done in Brazil looking at the possible link between flexibility and mortality has been published.

Their study was to evaluate the association between the ability to sit and rise from the floor and all-cause mortality. They state that while cardiorespiratory fitness is strongly related to survival, there are limited data regarding musculoskeletal fitness indicators.


The study involved 2002 adults aged 51-80 years (68% men) performed a sitting –rising test (SRT) to and from the floor, which was scored from 0 to 5, with one point being subtracted from 5 for each support used (hand/knee).  Final SRT score, varying from 0 to 10, was obtained by adding sitting and rising scores and stratified in four categories for analysis.

The results after 6.3 years showed that there was 159 deaths (7.9%).  Lower SRT scores were associated with higher mortality.


This clearly shows us that Musculoskeletal fitness, as assessed by SRT, was a significant predictor of mortality in 51-80-year-old subjects.  Application of a simple and safe assessment tool such as SRT, which is influenced by muscular strength and flexibility, in general health examinations could add relevant information regarding functional capabilities.


What could be the relevance of this study to you and your Osteopath?  The SRT was an active predictor and assessment.  It is also a functional strength movement.  Your Osteopath uses various passive ranges of movement to help overcome restrictions and inflexibilities within joints and muscles that could affect your overall fluidity of movement with in your lower limbs, pelvis, lower, middle and upper back.


Do you regularly stretch?  I often ask my patients this question, and the answer is no.   Yet if I asked them, did you brush your teeth this morning?  I would be confident that they would say, yes and will again this evening.  This proportionally smaller part of our body, the mouth and our teeth receive a huge amount of attention in comparison.  On top of this, it is normal to make a periodic visit to the dentist for a check up, just to double check that everything is fine.   Eating is a great pleasure and so, maintaining the health of our teeth is an investment in our futures.  If I asked you the question, how important is our strength and flexibility, what would your answer be?

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