We came across a study last week (Brito LB, et al. Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2014.) looking at a sit-down-stand-up test that predicted longevity (or more specifically - mortality)
In the study, 2002 men and women aged 51 to 80 were followed for an average of 6.3 years, and those who needed to use both hands and knees to get up and down (whether they were middle-aged or elderly) were less likely to be alive. Their musculoskeletal fitness, as measured by the test, was lacking. And musculoskeletal fitness, it turns out, is very important. We all know that mobility can decline as we get older, so this can serve as a perfect detector of a beginning of the decline.
Luckily we can change things - like any functional movement, we can assess dysfunction and train to improve whichever component is holding you back (i.e. flexibility, balance, co-ordination or strength).