Five Simple Tests You Can Do At Home To See How Long You Will Live.

The science of longevity can be complex.

But it doesn’t have to be.

Most people just want some simple ways to work out whether they are on a path to living a longer or shorter life.

You don’t need to do fancy gene tests to work out your biological age.

You can just start with the following 5 tests.

That can be done by anyone.

At home.

At minimal cost.

With no medical training.

If you score high on all of these tests, the data says you are likely to live considerably longer than someone who scores poorly on them. 

If you score poorly on these tests, you have at least worked out that you have some work to do.

But doing the work will likely mean an extension to your lifespan.

The following 5 tests are deceptively simple but immensely powerful at predicting lifespan.

Let’s begin.

Single Leg Stand Test.

This test involves standing on one leg, unsupported for 10 seconds.

Sounds easy, right?

Because it should be.

But 20% of people in their early 60s cannot do it.

50% of people in their early 70s cannot do it1.

By the time people hit their 80s, only about 10% of people can do it.

And whether you can do this or not matters hugely with respect to your chances of dying over the coming years.

For those who could stand on one leg for 10 seconds unsupported the chances that they were alive after 7 years was over 90%.

If you couldn’t?

That survival figure dropped to about 65%.

That is a huge difference.

I hear people talking about ‘Centenarian Olympics’ but by the way most people are going they will be lucky to see the next Olympics.

Not to mind, compete in one in 40 years.

Cooper Test - V02 Max

High levels of aerobic fitness are consistently associated with longevity.

V02 Max is a test of aerobic fitness and is best assessed in a formal setting using a metabolic cart.

This is a test that I advise most people to do to get an accurate assessment of their aerobic fitness.

Most, however, just never do it.

There is an easy way of doing a V02 max test at home if you feel that completing a formal metabolic cart is not something you will ever do.

The Cooper test is a simple way to assess your V02 max.

All you need is 12 mins and a pair of trainers. 

The test is simple.

You run as far as you can in 12 minutes.

Remember to pace yourself.

You then input how far you ran into a calculator that takes account of your age and sex, and it will give you an estimated V02 Max.

There are multiple free calculators online that you can use.

It will output your score and also give a population average to see how you stack up.

You can also work out your age and sex-matched percentile here.

The Cooper test can also be done on a bike and also swimming. Just use the correct calculator.

But please do not rely on your watch to calculate your V02 max.

This is likely to be reasonably accurate if you are a very seasoned athlete consistently using a chest strap for heart rate.

But if you are doing that. You should be doing a formal V02 max test.

For most people, the watch-derived V02 max I rarely find accurate.

Push Ups

The simple push-up is a very strong predictor of your future chance of dying from heart disease.

Which is the leading cause of death worldwide.

So it’s the one you want to avoid.

Compared to those who could complete less than 10 push ups, those who could do 40 push ups were 96% less likely to die from cardiovascular disease over the next 10 years2.

Push-up categories are by numbers of push-ups performed during baseline examination.

What you will notice from the graph above is that there is a huge difference between being able to complete more than 10 push ups and less than 10 push ups.

So it is not the target of 40 push ups I would focus on.

It’s the target of 10 or more.

There is nothing special about push ups but they are a great integrator of strength, balance and coordination.

Pretty much EVERYONE should be able to do more than 10 push ups.

If you can’t, you can see the trajectory for you is pretty clear.

Heart Rate Recovery.

Your maximum heart rate is a key determinant of your maximal aerobic fitness capacity.

But so too is the rate at which your heart rate recovers after exercise.

The ability of your heart to recover is a function of your parasympathetic tone.

This is the opposite of your sympathetic tone, ie your fight or flight system.

Your parasympathetic tone is a measure of how relaxed you are.

Heart rate recovery can be easily tested.

And the information from this simple test is highly predictive of your risk of dying from any cause in the coming years.

At 1 minute post exercise at a high intensity close to maximum heart rate your heart rate should have dropped at by 20 to 25 beats per minute.

Just based on this figure alone, compared to those with a high (20-25 beats) heart rate recovery those with a low heart rate recovery (<12 beats) were 4 times more likely to die in the following 6 years3.

Measuring heart rate recovery is simple.

You can either look at your heart rate metrics recorded on your watch and it will have your heart rate recovery data displayed.

You are aiming for a 20-25 beats per minute reduction at one minute.

You can also do this manually by noting your heart rate as you are about to complete your high intensity exercise and then recording it again at 60 seconds after you have stopped.

Grip Strength

Grip strength is one of the most commonly used measures of strength and is tightly linked to your chances of dying over the next 10 years.

It’s not that there is anything magical about grip strength or that it needs to be selectively trained but it is a great integrator of overall body strength.

Compared to low grip strength, those in the higher categories are about 50% less likely to die from any cause over the coming years4.

But how do you measure grip strength?

Easy. With a dynamometer which can be purchased online for about $30.

You make three attempts at squeezing as hard as you can and take the highest reading.

Then you see where you stack up against your peers.

Blood Pressure.

About half of all adults have high blood pressure.

A considerable percentage of high blood pressure is undiagnosed.

High blood pressure is closely linked with a shorter life.

For every 20 mmHg increases in systolic blood pressure the risk of dying from a heart attack or stroke in the coming years doubles5.

Home blood pressure monitors are easy to purchase online and are inexpensive.

Five Tests 

So there are five simple tests anyone can do at home to give an indication of their chances of dying in the coming decade.

If you score highly on all of these, well done. Keep it up.

If not, you have some work to do.

But know that all of these metrics can be improved.

And the risks associated with them reduced.

Measure. Manage. Repeat.


Successful 10-second one-legged stance performance predicts survival in middle-aged and older individuals British Journal of Sports Medicine Published Online First: 21 June 2022.


Association Between Push-up Exercise Capacity and Future Cardiovascular Events Among Active Adult Men. JAMA Netw Open. 2019;2(2):e188341.


Heart-rate recovery immediately after exercise as a predictor of mortality. N Engl J Med. 1999 Oct 28;341(18):1351-7.


Thresholds of handgrip strength for all-cause, cancer, and cardiovascular mortality: A systematic review with dose-response meta-analysis. Ageing Res Rev. 2022 Dec;82:101778.


Prospective Studies Collaboration. Age-specific relevance of usual blood pressure to vascular mortality: a meta-analysis of individual data for one million adults in 61 prospective studies. Lancet. 2002 Dec 14;360(9349):1903-13

When You Are Ready Here Is How I Can Help You.

The Heart Health Formula Is Everything I Have Learned About Heart Disease Prevention Over The Last 20 Years About.

This is the formula for preventing heart disease and living longer.

Click on the button below to learn more.

Tell Me More

The Real Secret Of Why Blue Zones Have Exceptional Longevity

How to Define Exercise Zones for Optimal Workout Efficiency. The Es...

Five Simple Tests You Can Do At Home To See How Long You Will Live.


Prevent Heart Disease. Live Longer. 

Join 20K+ Others On My Free Weekly Email For Actionable Insights.