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05/30/2014 07:27 am ET Updated Jun 02, 2014

4 Simple Ways To Test Your Longevity

Roy Hsu via Getty Images

Ever wonder how you'll fare when it comes to the longevity stakes? As far as we know, there isn't any crystal ball to pinpoint exactly how long you'll live. But the good news is, there are a handful of tests you can take to determine just how long you might live.

1. The Balance Test
See how long you can stand on just one leg. Then count how many times you can sit down and get up from a chair in one minute.

A study published in the British Medical Journal earlier this year found that among 53-year-old men and women, their ability to do these simple activities was an indicator of premature death. For men, those who could balance on one leg with their eyes closed for over 10 seconds and get up from a chair over 37 times in a minute were found to have a lower risk of premature death than those were performed poorer. The same went for women, except being able to stand up and sit down in a chair over 35 times in a minute was the threshold for a lower risk of death over the course of the next 13 years.

2. The Sit-And-Rise Test
OK... this is one a bit of a workout. Using as little support from your body as you need, try sitting down and then getting up from the floor. Don't worry about being fast.

In a Brazilian study published in The European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention, men and women over 50 all the way to 80, who were able to sit down on the floor and then get up using no support from their hands at all or just from one hand were less likely to die over the course of the study. People who needed more support (both hands, or knee support) were 5-6 times more likely. Watch this video to test yourself.

3. The Grip-Strength Test
Who knew your handshake could be so telling? While a strong, firm handshake is often viewed as a sign of confidence, it can also be an indicator of your longevity.

Numerous studies have shown a correlation between stronger grip strength and lower risk of mortality. One study released this month actually suggests that hand-grip strength can be an indicator of your actual biological age. Another study found that poor grip strength can be indicative of disabilities in later life, along with cognitive decline.

Grip strength is commonly measured by using a handheld dynamometer. Here are some NIH-backed ways to improve your grip strength.

4. The Walking Speed Test
As they say, a body in motion, stays in motion. Researchers have long used gait speed to measure overall health in older adults and studies show that older adults who walk faster tend to live longer than their slower-walking counterparts.

In one University of Pittsburgh study, over 90 percent of faster female walkers aged 75 went on to celebrate their 85th birthdays. The same went for over 85 percent of faster walking men.

People who walked at about 2.2 miles per hour were likely to live to the average life expectancy of someone their age. Every speed increase of 0.1 meters per minute translated into a 12 percent drop in their chances of dying in the next decade.

But researchers warn that simply walking faster won't tack on years to your life. Its your natural walking speed that's indicative of mortality.

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