The purpose of this article is to educate, promote quality therapy, but most importantly to inspire activity and quality movement.
There is one aspect of life that all of us will go through which is ageing. Whether we like it or not we will all physically deteriorate with age. But what can we do about it? Sit back and accept fate with declining health, or be proactive in maintaining the strength and mobility we have…
'I've got creaky knees, my back is a bit stiff, reaching down to put my shoes on is so hard … it must be old age'. As a practitioner, I've heard them all. It's the age old excuse. Some of these complaints are justified, but many of the clients I have come across in both the gym and massage therapy setting will reluctantly admit they just haven't prioritised being active enough. The old adage 'use it or lose it', remains very true. Strength and joint mobility will decrease with age, they will also deteriorate through lack of use. Moving joints can help to increase synovial fluid to the joint capsule and this will keep the joint moving smoothly. Movement will also help the surrounding soft tissues remain both strong and flexible. This is why we need to feel the urge to stretch when we get out of bed, or standing up from prolonged sitting. The soft tissues in our body adapt to a particular position, the stretching is our body trying to prepare these soft tissues for movement.
This test is not 100% accurate in telling you when you will die. There are many factors involved in how long you shall live. But the theme of being stronger and more mobile leading to living longer is what I and the authors are trying to emphasise. If you can move better, you are more independent, you are also more likely to exercise. This can help decrease cardiac risk factors, as well as help maintain a healthy weight, which will further reduce many mortality factors.
There are other factors that will limit your performance in a sit to stand test such as lower limb joint replacement, arthritis, neurological disease, other joint surgeries may also limit your joint range making sitting on the floor difficult. So don't panic if you have co-morbidities that will cause you to score poorly in a test like this.
“I'm stiff, sore and don't move with ease, what should I do about it?”. For many people the answer is simply to move more. Move more often, move for leisure, move for exercise, move to break up the monotony of prolonged sitting. If you want some advice on how to move well I have the training and experience to help instruct you. You may require more strength, more mobility, more balance, or a combination of all three. Understanding your weaknesses is the first step to improvement.
Massage therapy can also play a role in improving movement. Massage can help increase range of motion by releasing tightness in muscle and soft tissue, or minimising the referred pain that tight muscles can cause to a joint. The increased movement around the joint will make it easier to train for strength and balance, this will lead to fewer compensations (such as limping).
Articulation (movement) of the joint will help to keep the fluid of the joint healthy and nourished.
Regular stretching will also help you stay mobile and injury free. Stretching is more effective when designed specific for your needs. If you need help with this, I am more than happy to shed some light on this complicated and sometimes controversial topic.
Movement is important for all ages, the longer you neglect it, the harder it is to get back. Age should not be a barrier for activity, getting out as part of a team may make it more fun.
28,676 people competed in the World Masters games in Sydney in 2009. The age categories go all the way up to 100 and over age group. If Man Kaur can do it at 101, so can you. That is of course if the threat of increased mortality hasn't already got you out of your chair!
Buckwalter JA. Osteoarthritis and articular cartilage use, disuse and abuse: experimental studies. Journal of Rheumatology 1995;43:13–5. 28.
Brito, L.B. Ricardo, D.R. Araújo, D.S. Ramos, P.S. Myers, J. Araújo, C.G. 2012. Ability to sit and rise from the floor as a predictor of all-cause mortality.
European Journal of Preventative Cardiology 2012.
Massage therapist, Personal trainer, movement enthusiast.
Bachelor Health Studies (Massage and Neuromuscular Therapy)
Diploma in Health Sciences (Massage and Sports Therapy)
Diploma in Health Sciences (Therapeutic Massage)
Diploma in Sport (Exercise Prescription)
Certificate in Kinesiology and Power Taping
Tacfit Level 1 Coach
www.cityosteopaths.co.nz/massage.html Phone 04 4991439