Starring on Dr Mosley’s Just One Thing podcast, Professor Ruth Melo spoke of the sit and stand test.
The professor from the University of Sao Paulo, in Brazil, revealed that the test is a good measure of frailty.
Frailty refers to the likelihood of falls, which can be detrimental in older age.
Professor Melo explained that the sit and stand test involves standing up and sitting down five times using an ordinary chair.
Melo explained: “The sit-and-stand test is a very important measure and when we do this in a very fast way, we’re probably at lower risk of a lot of negative outcomes that are very common in older age.”
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No matter if you struggle to seamlessly sit down and stand up when you try this test out, there is a key way to improve your results.
Melo told Dr Mosley of her research project that involved older women and the sit-and-stand test.
For 12 weeks, some of the participants performed pilates twice a week, resulting in improved lower body strength and dynamic balance.
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The women who participated in pilates twice weekly were also able to walk 30 metres further than they could at the beginning of the study.
Melo said: “We believe that improving strength, improving the core stability, and improving the balance helped them to walk further.
“We found that pilates was able to improve dynamic balance, lower limb strength, and cardiovascular endurance.
“All these measures are important to be independent in older age.”
At the end of the 12-week programme, older women who did pilates were able to do the sit-and-stand test “in a fast way” compared to those who didn’t do pilates.
Melo said the pilates group “improved the way that they stand up and sit down”.
The professor added: “So we maintain our strength, our lower body strength, to have a good life at the end, and also improve your quality of life.”
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