There is a test that can accurately assess how how long you are going to live. And it's really simple.
In tonight's How To Stay Young, professor Janet Lord, an expert in healthy ageing, shows us how to do an easy assessment which reveals a lot about how well we are ageing and what that means for our potential life span.
You can literally do it anywhere. Like, right now. Just stand up, take off your shoes, cross your legs and lower yourself down to the ground, without using your hands, your knees or any other part of your body. Then try and stand back up the same way. Like this:
It's harder than this chap is making it look - and it reveals a lot about muscle strength and balance.
The scores are a clear indicator of how long you're going to live. You start with 10 points and lose one every time you have to use a hand or a knee - and half a point if you wobble.
If you score between 8 and 10, a long, healthy life is on the cards. The next category is 6-7.5, and compared to the 8-10 group, these people have got almost twice as high a chance of having a shorter life. If you score between 3.5-5.5, you're at three and a half times the risk of not having a particularly long life at all...
It's called the 'sit to rise' test and it was developed in Brazil. Scientists assessed over 2000 people aged between 50 and 80 and followed their health over a number of years. Their initial scores were "powerful predictors" of later health and how long they'd live.
But the good news? If you score low you can do something about it, by being more physically active and doing exercise which helps strengthen the body and improve balance.
Even just practising the sit to rise test itself can improve your score...