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Be Yourself

Be yourself.jpg

The Ethical Code of the Month for February is Satya – truthfulness.
Satya is about truth but not necessarily always being brutally honest with people in a way that offends. 
It relates to honesty with yourself and integrity in what you do.

Start by being honest with yourself – what are your strengths and weaknesses, what can you do less of, or more of? honestly.

Stand up without using the help of your hands

If you already practised with us, probably you heard this thousands of times "Stand up without using the help of your hands". Professor DeRose has pass this to us, instructors, and we perpetuate this knowledgment to our trainees and future instructors.

Our philosophy has a 5,000 years wisdom, and we can't beat Nature empiric acknowledgment.  But, recently, a scientific study came up to prove what we are saying for decades. 


A simple screening test of musculo-skeletal fitness has proved remarkably predictive of all-cause mortality in a study of more than 2000 middle-aged and older men and women. The study, performed in Brazil by Dr Claudio Gil Araújo and colleagues at the Clinimex -- Exercise Medicine Clinic in Rio de Janeiro, is reported today in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention.

The test was a simple assessment of the subjects' ability to sit and then rise unaided from the floor. The assessment was performed in 2002 adults of both sexes and with ages ranging from 51 to 80 years. The subjects were followed-up from the date of the baseline test until the date of death or 31 October 2011, a median follow-up of 6.3 years.

Before starting the test, they were told: "Without worrying about the speed of movement, try to sit and then to rise from the floor, using the minimum support that you believe is needed."

Each of the two basic movements were assessed and scored out of 5, with one point being subtracted from 5 for each support used (hand or knee, for example). Subjects were thus assessed by a composite score of 0 to 10, which, for the sake of the analysis, was ranked as four categories (C1, 0 C2, 3.5.5; C3, 6.5; and C4, 8).

A film of the sitting-rising test can be seen at

Over the study period 159 subjects died, a mortality rate of 7.9%. The majority of these deaths occurred in people with low test scores -- indeed, only two of the deaths were in subjects who gained a composite score of 10. Analysis found that survival in each of the four categories differed with high statistical significance. These differences persisted when results were controlled for age, gender and body mass index, suggesting that the sitting-rising test score is a significant predictor of all-cause mortality; indeed, subjects in the lower score range (C1) had a 5-6 times higher risk of death than those in the reference group (C4).

Commenting on the results, the investigators said that a high score in the sitting-rising test might "reflect the capacity to successfully perform a wide range of activities of daily living, such as bending over to pick up a newspaper or a pair of glasses from under a table."

However, in this study a composite score below 8 (that is, requiring more than one hand or knee support to sit and rise from the floor in a stable way) were associated with 2 fold higher death rates over the 6.3 year study period. By contrast, scores in the range of 8 indicated a particularly low risk of death during the tracking period. "Even more relevant," reported the investigators, "is the fact that a 1-point increment in the [sitting-rising] score was related to a 21% reduction in mortality." They added that this is the first study to demonstrate the prognostic value of the sitting-rising test.

Offering an explanation for the close correlation between the test scores and survival, Dr Araújo said: "It is well known that aerobic fitness is strongly related to survival, but our study also shows that maintaining high levels of body flexibility, muscle strength, power-to-body weight ratio and co-ordination are not only good for performing daily activities but have a favourable influence on life expectancy.

"When compared to other approaches to functional testing," added Dr Araújo, "the sitting-rising test does not require specific equipment and is safe, easy to apply in a short time period (less than 2 minutes), and reliably scored. In our clinical practice, the test has been shown over the past ten years to be useful and practical for application to a large spectrum of populations, ranging from paediatric to geriatric."

Dr Araújo emphasised the great potential of the sitting-rising test among primary care physicians looking for a quick appraisal of musculo-skeletal fitness in clinical or industrial settings. "If a middle-aged or older man or woman can sit and rise from the floor using just one hand -- or even better without the help of a hand -- they are not only in the higher quartile of musculo-skeletal fitness but their survival prognosis is probably better than that of those unable to do so."

Story Source:

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by European Society of CardiologyNote: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Brito LBB, Ricardo DR, Araujo DSMS, et al. Ability to sit and rise from the floor as a predictor of all-cause mortalityEuropean Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention, 2012; DOI: 10.1177/2047487312471759

Evolving Leadership Concepts

by Edgardo Caramella

There are many different ways and even more opinions about how to lead groups of people. I have been in a leadership role for decades and I can attest that times have changed. The social and individual needs have changed and this forces us to rethink the ways we lead.

Modern man is not satisfied merely with gaining economic benefit. He needs to feel that he is part of the process he is participating in. Work should boost self-esteem and personal fulfillment, which is then projected into future achievements.

From my experience leading diverse groups, I would like to suggest that the first thing you do is leave behind the image of a hard and rigid leader, someone who constantly makes known their position of power through intimidation, giving orders and punishments to those who don’t submit to their directives.

Anyone who leads with intimidation is inevitably doomed for failure, will struggle to reach their goals or evolve as a leader. And, even worse, will be completely alone and isolated.

Today leaders must build trust. They can no longer simply giving orders and expect results. Instead, they need to develop the art of persuasion and achieve a synergy within the team of collaborators. A leader must be a facilitator, discovering the talents and skills of the team in order to direct those aptitudes towards the task at hand. They need to the entire group to interact to create a learning experience that progresses like a upward spiral.

Leaders must care for and meet the needs of coworkers, establishing human relationships built on trust, mutual support, interest in the task and personal evolution. In turn, the group of employees should be involved in every way, providing physical, emotional and mental energies moving together in the direction of the objective.

Primary among the many items a leader should share with the team is information. There are those who do not share vital information with others out of fear or in an attempt to protect a perceived competitive advantage, creating a gap of knowledge that will only lead to lower group performance and disinterested collaborators. Information is fuel to the fire and, as such, must reach the group to become creative energy.

Today we have the technological tools to facilitate the flow of information, but we shouldn’t ignore the value of frequent personal encounters, when sincere eye contact, handshake, hug, or conversation strengthen bonds which are the flame that forges a genuine connection.

This does not mean that everyone should love each other deeply. It’s about generating connections, respect, strategic and smart partnerships that are above any emotional differences in order to carry out strategic planning and the realization of goals established as a guideline by the leader.

Another powerful element that solidifies and enhances a group’s cohesion is value. We must ensure that ethics, truth, solidarity, the application of basic concepts of good citizenship, tolerance and good manners all predominate within the organization. The leader must be a consistent example, constantly striving, available 24 hours and always training to be better. It’s essential that you continue to grow as a human being and share your knowledge with others.

I recommend using the context of "us" more and “me" less, as a way of thinking, being, feeling and expressing oneself. This allows the leader to maintain his status while achieving broader acceptance among his subordinates, preserving the emphasis on group synergy as well as the leader’s assigned authority.

Remember that authority only arises with the group’s acceptance of an individual as the most capable to lead. The power, however, is often obtained from circumstances that are not related to the ability of who has it.

The task of sharing information is essential because it generates acceptance, appreciation, and releases energy that will multiply exponentially.

The leader's job comes with great responsibility because the group being led incorporates the leader’s behaviors. This dynamic should be an asset and can be easily managed if the leader is sincere.

If we want to perform as good leaders, we must try to build the best version of ourselves as human beings. Work on what we are to do what we do best!

The Happiness Syndrome

"If you feel unhappy without reason, or apportion these reasons so small, it may be because you are too happy and is unable to metabolize these happiness. Something like indigestion from too much happiness. Think about it and stop complaining in life. Look for some ideal, art, philanthropy and start having to fight for it. You never need to take Prozac." DeRose

Modern man in evolutionary transition has always sought to win and the incentive to win, for millions of years, has been to gain a sense of satisfaction on an emotional and physiological level.  

As humans, when we feel threatened our in-built design to fight or flight takes charge.  If we manage to fight or flight with success, we manage to overcome threatening situations.  

Fighting to win or flighting the clutches of some predator are two scenarios which involve a struggle through which by defeating another, man can satisfy his core needs.  This is at the centre of man’s instincts.  

The trouble for man begins however when neither outcome, fight nor flight, takes effect.  If unable to outdo or flee such an undesirable despot or situation, what triggers immediately is something else leading to a whole host of physiological disorders.  This ‘something else’ has been extensively studied and analysed for many years, in laboratories and in life.

What has resulted from such analysis is “The Happiness Syndrome”.  This phenomena presents an alternative reality to the one we’ve been discussing above. Instead of fighting or fleeing a situation, a surrendering to the status quo takes place.  

Now the human brain has the sophisticated potential to surrender in this way and therefore suppress the need for a euphoric fight or flight.  But by not meeting this instinctive need the brain (ego) steps in and creates explanations for such a defeat, which fails to meet our instinctive drives.

We can call this a false justification and no human, whatever age or background is exempt from such a sorry state.  If such a state of self continues, in short, the individual will without a doubt begin to feel a total lack of satisfaction in life, simply due to the fact that the instinctive drives to fight or flight are not being fulfilled.  

Instead, a state of falsehood or limbo takes over leaving the individual without any experience of reward or achievement.  This absence of struggle to accomplish anything successfully through any kind of adversity is what contributes to The Happiness Syndrome.

The thing we as humans need to avoid is for this ‘unconscious’ state to set in, which mitigates our discontent by serialising unhappy incidents in our lives with convenient (and false) stories which only perpetuate conditions for us to remain in discontent for far too long.

To become conscious is to remind ourselves of our natural and instinctive drives, and to then accept how beneficial all adversity and challenge can be for us.

If factors in our society and within our four walls do not challenge us or our status quo, then we run the risk of preferring an almost static existence where we choose not to engage with opportunities.  Instead we suffocate our basic human drives from being fulfilled therefore keeping ourselves from enjoying a true state of happiness.

Article by Prof DeRose. Newly revised Serena Desai.