The line, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up,” isn’t a joke, even if it has become one here in the United States. A recent study published in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention suggests that the ability to get up and down from the floor is highly predictive of mortality.
The study by Dr Claudio Gil Araújo and colleagues in Brazil asked subjects ages 51-80 to go from standing to sitting on the floor and then to stand back up while using the least amount of support possible. The researchers scored the individuals based on their ability to sit and rise, and found after several years that the people with the lowest scores were five to six times more likely to die than the individuals who were able to sit and rise with little support.
Although you can’t draw any cause-and-effect conclusions from this study, I have to think that it supports the idea that strength training does more than improve quality of life. It’s among the many reasons most of us should be lifting weights.
You can read about the study at the European Society of Cardiology.