Mobility Check In: How Mobile Are You?

Mobility is essential for getting through the day, whether you need to bend down to pick something up, walk down the driveway for the mail, or ride your bike down a winding trail.

Often due to illness or injury, a loss of mobility occurs. This makes everyday activities difficult and may even sideline you from your favorite sport, traveling, or even simply walking the dog. Sometimes, loss of mobility happens slowly over time due to decreased daily activity, decreased strength, obesity, impaired balance, depression, cognitive decline, and chronic diseases such as diabetes and arthritis.1

Given that so many things that can lead to immobility, it is important to be proactive to maintain what you have now or reclaim what’s been lost. Now is a great time to check-in with your own mobility status.

5-Step Mobility Check In2

  1. Sit and Stand: Can you sit down in a chair and stand back up without the use of armrests? Can you sit and stand repeatedly for 30 seconds without pain?
  2. Step Up: Can you confidently walk up and down a flight of stairs?
  3. Back Scratch: Can you reach one arm around your back to scratch an itch in the middle of your spine?
  4. Overhead Reach: From a seated or standing position, bring hands to your shoulders. Then, reach your arms overhead, reaching fingertips to the ceiling, and arms by your ears.
  5. Knee or Toe Touch: Seated on a chair with one leg extended out in front, heal of the foot on the floor, hinge forward allowing the fingers to walk down the leg as far as possible. The closer the fingers are to the extended foot, the greater the flexibility of the legs and back.

If any of the above exercises were challenging or uncomfortable, it is safe to say your mobility may be limited.

The good news is you can restore mobility and reclaim ease of movement. Take steps now to make sure you can take the steps you want in the years ahead.

Sources:

  1. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/1738875
  2. https://www.bioexsystems.com/2015/08/24/six-essential-functional-tests-for-senior-adults/
  3. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr098.pdf
  4. https://intermountainhealthcare.org/blogs/topics/live-well/2017/03/5-exercises-to-improve-mobility-for-seniors/

 

Information presented by W(h)ealth should not be relied upon to determine diet, make a medical diagnosis, or determine treatment for a medical condition. The information is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. Consult a doctor and/or medical professional before making any health changes, especially any changes related to a specific diagnosis or condition.

About the Writer

Kelley Rakow, Health and Lifestyle Coach