hip and knee exercise rehab 

4 Functional Tests To Predict Life Expectancy

There are 4 easy functional tests that are good predictors of overall mortality. “Mortality” means the likelihood of someone passing away early. These test can be used to highlight areas in your physical health that you can focus on to both potentially prolong and improve your quality of life as well.

Being able to do well with these tests usually means you will have an easier time going about your normal, everyday activities as well

1. Posture

The first is an upper body posture and flexibility test which you can do against a wall. Stand with your back leaning on the wall, your feet slightly away from the wall.

Next, raise your hands up so that your upper arm is parallel to the floor. Keep your elbows bent as if you were waving “hi”. See if you can have your elbows and hands touch the wall. Also, keep your eyes looking straight ahead.

The goal is to see if you can have your whole body from your waist, back, head, shoulders, elbows and hands touching the wall. Think of a “snow angel”.

For some of us, it may be hard for you to have your hands and head touching the wall due to poor posture or stiffness especially in your upper back. This can affect your breathing, muscle strength and increase your risk of falling

test grip strength with hand dynanometer

2. Grip Strength

Using a device called a hand dynamometer, your hand grip strength is measured and compared against normal ranges. Your scores can be compared with benchmarks scores based on your age, gender and the hand being tested.

Your grip strength gives you an idea of how well your neck, upper back and shoulders are working. In order for you to have a strong grip all these areas need to be healthy and working properly.

If your grip is weak this can mean having a harder time opening jars or carrying groceries. A strong grip has been linked to less muscle weakness, fewer cardiovascular and lung issues as well as better blood pressure

3. Core Strength

The dreaded plank! This is done in a position similar to a push-up, except that you will be on your toes and forearms as opposed to on your hands. Keep the rest of your body straight, avoiding angling your hips upwards. Stay in this position for as long as you can and your time is then compared to recommended ranges, based on your age. Remember to breathe!

If you notice any pain, stop and that will be your score. Good core strength is needed to perform well in the plank test. With a strong core, you will have better balance, be better able to do most physical tasks and lowers your chances of getting injuries

As an alternative, another way to test how strong your core muscles are is the pointer dog test.

physio back treatment

4. Squat

A squat test will give you an idea of how flexible your hips are. Squat down as low as you can, trying to get your gluts to touch your feet. The angle formed at your knees is then measured.

The goal is to get at least 135o of knee bend. If you have limited flexibility in your hips, you may have more trouble going up and down stairs. You might also find it harder to pick things up off the ground and end up putting more strain on your lower back

Find Out How To Improve Your Test Results

Learn tips and suggestions on how to improve your functional test results and make going about your everyday life a lot easier

Visit Your Chiropractor

Phone 604-738-1168

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can my chiropractor help me with my posture?

A: Your chiropractor has extensive training in assessing and helping you with your posture. They can help you improve areas of your spine and body that need more mobility or flexibility. You may be given specific postural exercises. Your chiro can also give you tips and suggestions on how to set up your work area properly.

Q: Does strengthening my core help my posture?

A: Having a strong core help you have better posture. Healthy core muscles help you stand and sit straighter. They also help keep your body stabilized while moving and exercising

Q: How do I strengthen my core muscles?

A: Core muscle exercises are different than your traditional “ab” exercises. Sit ups and crunches may help your abs but your core muscles respond better to exercises such as the plank, pointer dog and superman exercises

Results will of course vary from person to person