Exercise is Medicine on Campus Month

 

EIM Home Test Series

Welcome to the EIM Home Test series. In this series, we will introduce some quick and simple exercise tests that you can do at home that will give you an idea of your health and fitness.

Click on the Test below to see more details of the test:

V Sit and Reach Test

One of the frequently used tests for evaluating the flexibility of the hamstring and back muscles is the simple V Sit and Reach Test. Tightness in these muscles may place increased stress on the lower back and aggravate some of the conditions that lead to sciatica or low back pain. The Report of Population Health Survey 2014/15 by Department of Health, Hong Kong, indicated 22% of respondents experienced lower back pain 30 days preceding the survey. While the cause of lower back pain remains unclear, it is well accepted that frequent exercise and stretching may help maintain muscle strength and joint health, thus providing better support to the trunk and reducing the risk of back injury.

Protocol

The V Sit and Reach Test is a modified version of the familiar Sit and Reach Test. The advantage of adopting the V Sit and Reach Test at home is because it does not require a sit and reach box. You just need a ruler and you are good to go.​

  1. Mark/Use a horizontal baseline on floor

  2. Tape a ruler perpendicular to the baseline that marks 15 inch (38.1 cm) at the baseline

  3. Sit on the floor with both legs extended and feet apart by 12 inch (30 cm) with heels on the baseline

  4. Put one hand overlapping the other and align the middle fingers, keeping them at same level

  5. With the legs held flat and palms facing down, slowly reach forward as far as possible

  6. Hold the position for 3 seconds and record the distance reached

  7. Rest for a minute and repeat for 2 – 3 times and record the best result

Scoring

​The chart below shows the scoring table for the V Sit and Reach Test.

Norms for the V sit and reach test (in inches)

Morrow, Mood, Disch, & Kang, 2015, pp. 222

Results

Your score is categorized into 8 levels divided by difficulty, depending on the use of one- or both legs and the height of the seat. The results range from weak (using both legs with a height of 40cm) to Strong (using one leg with a height of 10cm). 

Reference

  • Morrow, J. J. R., Jr, Mood, D., Disch, J., & Kang, M. (2015). Measurement and Evaluation in Human Performance (5th ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

  • Centre for Health Protection (2017). Report of Population Health Survey 2014/2015. http://www.chp.gov.hk

LOCOMO - One Leg Stand Up test

The Japanese Orthopaedic Association designed the LOCOMO Challenge which is a simple single leg stand from a chair. The test is indicative of locomotion ability caused by an inactive lifestyle and aging. Physically inactivite people can lose as much as 3% to 5% of their muscle mass each decade after age 30, thus gradually losing the physical ability to do daily work. With the aging of the population in Hong Kong, it is vital to raise awareness of the importance of Being physically activefor a healthy aging population.

Protocol

  1. Prepare a chair or stool at about 10cm, 20cm, 30cm and 40cm high

  2. Sit on the chair with arms on chest

  3. Try to stand up using both leg without any support

  4. If successful, sit on the chair again

  5. Now try to stand up using only 1 leg, hold the stand position for 3 seconds

  6. If successful, try the same test with a smaller chair

One Leg Stand-up test, adapted from Nakamura K and Ogata T (2016)

For more information on the test, please click here.

Scoring

  1. Successful: Stand up and hold the position for >3 seconds (If successful, try the next level)

  2. Not successful: Unable to stand up or fail to hold the position for >3 seconds (End of test)

Results

Your score is categorized into 8 levels divided by difficulty, depending on the use of one- or both legs and the height of the seat. The results range from weak (using both legs with a height of 40cm) to Strong (using one leg with a height of 10cm). 

Reference

  • Nakamura K and Ogata T. Locomotive Syndrome: Definition and Management. Clinical Reviews in Bone and Mineral Metabolism 2016: 14(2): 56-67

  • Japanese Orthopaedic Association (2015). “Locomotive Syndrome Pamphlet 2015”

  • Ishibashi, H. Locomotive syndrome in Japan. Osteoporos. Sarcopenia 2018, 4, 86–94.

4-Flight Stair Climbing Test

The 4-flight stair climbing test is a simple test in which a person needs to walk fast up four flights of stairs without stopping. This test will give you a simple indication of your functional capacity as the effort levels is equivalent to 10 METs of exercise. A study by Peteiro et al. (2019) tested 12,615 older patients over a period of 5 years. Cardiovascular deaths were triple and cancer deaths were almost double in patients with poor compared to good functional capacity (ability to reach 10 METs in an exercise test).

Protocol

  1. Find a staircase (home/workplace)

  2. Walk up 4-flights of stairs quickly

  3. Record completion time

  4. Do it daily to stay active and keep track of health

Scoring

  1. Complete under 55s: Good functional capacity

  2. Complete over 55s: Need more exercise

Conclusion

10 METs of exercise is equivalent completing stage 4 of the treadmill Bruce protocol (6.8 km/h, 16% incline). Other exercises equivalent to 10 METs are running (10.4 km/h), bicycling at (22–26 km/h) or walking very fast up four flights of stairs. If you can walk up 4 flights of stairs quickly, you probably have an active lifestyle and a healthy body.

Reference

  • Peteiro J,  Bouzas-Mosquera A, Pertega C, et. al. Prediction of cardiovascular, cancer and non-cardiovascular non-cancer death by exercise echocardiography. European Journal of Preventive Cardiology 2019: 00(0): 1–4

Sitting Rising Test

Sitting and Rising test (SRT) is a simple test that requires a person to sit down on the floor from a standing position and stand back up without any support or losing balance.  According to a study led by Dr. Claudio Gil Araujo, sitting and rising from the floor is closely related to the risk of falling and is a significant predictor of all-cause mortality. Those with the lower score range (0 – 3) exhibit 5-6x greater health risk compared to their better performed counterparts.

Protocol

  1. Find a flat non-slippery surface or 2m x 2m

  2. Stand upright with no shoes

  3. Cross your legs (either way)

  4. Sit on the floor without losing balance

  5. Rise from the floor to original standing position

Scoring

  1. SRT partial scores begin with a maximum of 5 points, separately for sitting and rising.

  2. During sitting or rising, 1 point is subtracted for each support utilized: that is, hand, forearm, knee, or side of leg

  3. Additional 0.5 point is subtracted for unsteady execution (partial loss of balance) during either action.

  4. Additional 1 point is subtracted if the subject places one hand on the knee in order to sit or rise

  5. Add the scores for sitting and rising to give the SRT score from 0 – 10.

A video illustrating SRT performance and scoring is available here

Result

Your score is categorized into 4 categories. Based on an age-, gender-, and BMI-adjusted Cox analysis, there was a 3-year shorter life expectancy among subjects placed in the lowest score category as compared to subjects with the best score category.

Conclusion

It is obvious that SRT is not evaluating any particular health or fitness parameters. It however indirectly evaluates your daily physical activity level, as the more active you are, the more likely you are able to complete the task without losing many points. So, if you score a perfect 10, a great shout out to you in keeping yourself in good shape. But if you score not as good for now, don’t worry, start exercising more and you will be scoring 10 in no time!

Reference

  • Brito LBB, Ricardo DR, Araujo DSMS, et. al. Ability to sit and rise from the floor as a predictor of all-cause mortality. European Journal of Preventive Cardiology 2014: 21(7): 892 – 898

Please click here for an extended version of this information.

Tests at Active Health Clinic

When it comes to figuring out how healthy you are, a wide range of health and fitness assessment are available at the Active Health Clinic We offer a series of tests to establish your fitness level and identify potential health risks. From static tests such as blood pressure, blood profiling and DEXA scan, to exercise tests such as the VO2 max graded exercise and strength tests.

More info please go to Active Health Clinic.

 
 
 

© 2020 by Centre for Sports and Exercise, The University of Hong Kong

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