What does getting up and down off the floor have to do with our longevity and our quality of life?
My life has me getting up and down off the floor all the time. Often in my studio, I sit on the floor while working with clients. When I babysit my granddaughter I’m up and down off the floor constantly. I even have to get up and down while holding her which is an added weight and requires more flexibility and strength. Many times when getting computer work done or while on Zoom, I sit on a roller on the floor to keep my spine and pelvis in a better position. How much do you get up and down off the floor on a daily basis? It’s actually a good exercise to add to your routine and here’s why.
If we think back to how the human body was meant to work before the age of furniture, people spent time sitting or squatting on the ground. If we look at indigenous cultures, many times we see people cooking or doing work like milking a cow while squatting. Has big comfy furniture done us any favors? In an article for the National Library of Medicine on PubMed there is a research paper Ability to sit and rise from the floor as a predictor of all-cause mortality, This research took adults ages 51-80 years of age and tested their ability to get up and down off the floor with a score from 0-5 with a point subtracted for each support used, like a knee or a hand. The adults that used less assistance to get up from the floor show to have the longest lifespan.
Quality of Life
I’m sure you agree that not only do you want the benefit of a long life, you want quality of life. Being able to get up and down off the floor uses not only muscle strength but balance, coordination and flexibility. Autonomy and independence as we age is probably the biggest predictor for quality of life. Imagine living by yourself and dropping your cell phone or credit card. Being able to get down and pick up your belongings without worrying about being stuck on the floor is a basic function for quality of life. Because getting up and down off the floor also has us move our joints at greater ranges of motion, flexibility is more likely to be maintained. Having less aches and pains also contributes to quality of life.
How and where to start
If this sounds remedial to you, awesome. Keep up with your strength training, flexibility and power. If you’re reading this thinking, I could use a little work in this department, get started right away and meet yourself where you’re at. If you can get up and down off the floor but need to push into your knees and hands to get up or if you need to prop yourself with a chair, coffee table or someone’s help, start there. Get down into a kneeling position, bring one foot forward and use your hands and a solid surface to help push yourself up. Repeat this like you would any strength exercise. Work toward completing three sets of 10-12 repetitions. As this becomes easier, push up from the floor directly. Once you can get up from the floor start working on using your hands and knees less. As with anything with our health and wellness, consistency will make a huge difference.
Another way to start or improve your form, mobility and strength is to incorporate regular strength training into your life. Strengthening your muscles, increasing or improving your balance and power all contribute to a higher quality of life as we age. Join my Free Community here for tutorials on Split Squats, Straight Leg Deadlifts and Squats.
If you need more help and want to start working with a coach to get a comprehensive program created for you and that works for you, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll set up a Free Discovery Call so we can see where you’re at, where you want to be and if I’m the right coach to help you get there.