Exercise & Longevity – are they linked?

Dr. Liz Borham

September 04, 2016

A quick test for you: can you sit down on the floor and then get back up, without using your hands or other supports? Go on, try it. I’ll wait.exercise and longevity

Did you do it? A recent study* has found that this test may predict longevity. The study took 2000 people aged between 51 and 80 and observed their performance in this ‘sitting-rising’ test. The researchers observed the participants while they performed this action, subtracting a point every time they used their hands, knees or forearms as a support to both get down to sitting, and to help them stand again. The score was able to predict longevity in many cases.

How? 6.3 years later, 159 of the participants had died. The majority of these were the people who had the most trouble performing the test. The authors found that study participants who had scored between zero and three (had the most trouble performing the test) had a five to six times higher risk of death than those who score between eight and ten (had hardly any trouble). The conclusion drawn was that musculoskeletal fitness, as assessed by a sitting-rising test, was a significant predictor of mortality.

This study is a small one but it asks interesting questions about the link between structure and function, a link which your ABC™ chiropractors make daily in practice. Common sense says that exercise and longevity are linked, and many studies have suggested this. Another recent study** found that exercise is an essential part of “successful aging”, holding many benefits in terms of mortality, prevention and control of chronic disease, and life expectancy. The authors of this study wrote “exercise can add years to your life and life to your years” by counteracting the effects of physiological ageing and by preserving functional reserve. In other words, by having the body feel and move better.

Exercise lowers the risk of osteoporosis and cardiovascular mortality, and prevents the development of some cancers. There are different types of beneficial exercise and they all have a role to play in health and wellbeing.

Aerobic exercise – has cardiovascular and weight loss benefits, and is thought to reduce the incidence of and mortality of coronary heart disease. It has positive effects on blood lipid levels and hypertension, the modulation of stress, and on mental health. Aerobic exercise can move abdominal fat and thereby decrease the risk of insulin resistance.

Resistance training – builds the strength, endurance and size of skeletal muscles. Resistance training can improve strength and muscle tone, aid in maintenance of healthy weight and improve bone density.

Flexibility training – posture, circulation and range of movement can be influenced by flexibility training, for example with pilates.

Balance – falls prevention and improved posture are among the benefits of balance training. Improved balance is often a by-product of strength and flexibility training.

Above all, the best kind of exercise is that which is fun and interesting and offers the body and mind a range of challenges and movements. Combine aerobic, resistance, flexibility and balance training for the best outcomes for your body.


** Gremeaux V et al, 2012, “Exercise and longevity”, Mauritas Dec:73(4):312-7

Australian Spinal Research Foundation, 2016, “Exercise and longevity: why it matters and how to improve”, Spinal research blog https://spinalresearch.com.au/research-outcomes-impact-support/ Accessed 23/03/16.

Postural Correction

At Melbourne City Chiropractic we focus on structural/postural correction. Specifically, we utilise a structural corrective technique called Advanced Bio-Structural Correction™. ABC™ is a ‘manual’ or ‘hands-on’ style of chiropractic. Its protocol involves meningeal stretches and spinal, pelvis, hip, knee, feet and rib adjustments.

Learn More

Meet your Chiropractors

Our team is passionate about improving the health and well-being of our patients, and we pride ourselves on our results orientated approach to chiropractic. Meet our team before you come into the practice.

Read On

There is no need to put up with pain any longer

Schedule your first appointment with our expert ABC™ Chiropractors and get back to doing what you love.

Book online now