I wrote one of these grim "get strong or die" posts about mortality and grip strength not too long ago. Well here's another one.
I became aware of the sitting and rising test a few years ago. It was invented by Dr. Claudio Gil Araujo. It's a simple test that can be done anywhere and has been proven to predict how long you live.
When I first learned of this test (USA Today Article) it almost became like a fun competition in the gym. But soon it became a lot more serious when I began working with a client who has a hard time with just getting up and down off of the floor. Also, I realized, my dad, who is 65 and has to take preventative medication for prostate cancer, had a very difficult time with completing the simple task of getting from the ground to his feet. The medication he takes has weakened his muscles and the simple task most of us take for granted of getting up, is a painful struggle.
The bottom line as this. As we age, the first thing that we start to lose isn't necessarily our muscle, its our mobility and stability. And this can become a big problem. The ability to get up from the ground demonstrates a combination of mobility, stability, coordination, balance and strength. This ability will effect our quality of life as we age and our mortality. Old injuries, lack of movement, lack of fitness, avoiding going to the floor and getting up off the floor will all effect how well we continue to function.
No matter your age, you need to be comfortable with getting to the ground and getting back up, no matter what position you start in. Go ahead and do the Sit and Rise Test and see what you score (warning: don't do this if you have any old or current hip and/or knee injuries or dysfunction without professional supervision). Another test you should be able to do is one Turkish Get-Up holding your shoe on your first.
Let me know how it goes.