According to a new study, you are twice as likely to die in the next decade if you are currently unable to balance on one foot for 10 seconds.
In contrast, the study suggests that your ability to balance on one foot indicates a longer life expectancy.
The peer-reviewed study by Brazilian researchers, published Tuesday in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, determined that a person’s ability to balance can be preserved in the sixth decade of their life, which means that it is a broader indicator of life expectancy in all age groups than aerobic fitness, flexibility or muscle strength.
Dr. Claudio Gil Soares de Araújo, lead author of the study and sports and exercise physician at the Clinimex Exercise Medicine Clinic in Rio de Janeiro, said poor balance is linked to frailty in the elderly and their own musculoskeletal shape is an important indicator of declining health.
Moment of relaxation:It’s Mental Health Awareness Month – focus on taking care of yourself with these relaxing products
Will you turn 60 soon ?:Here are 3 smart money moves that will improve your retirement life
“If you are under 70, you are expected (like most people at that age) to successfully complete the 10 seconds,” Araújo told USA TODAY in an emailed statement. “For those older than 70, if you complete it, you are in a better state of static equilibrium than your peers. … The benefits of the OLS 10s test include the fact that it is simple and provides a quick and safe test and feedback. objective for the patient and healthcare professionals regarding the static balance “.
In addition to suggesting that regular doctor visits include a balance test, Araújo recommended that people try a 15-second balance test during their morning routine when brushing their teeth at home, to use as a barometer for their well-being. .
Researchers in the study focused on 1,702 participants aged 51 to 75 for the study, with the average age set at 61. Their first follow-up – study participants were tracked starting in 2008 – collected data on their weight, waist and body measurements. Only individuals who could walk stably were included in their analysis. Then the participants were asked to stand on one leg for 10 seconds without holding on to anything for support. One in five has failed the test. Each participant made three attempts to put the back of the other foot on the lead leg, which could be barefoot or with a suitable tennis shoe.
Participants’ inability to pass the balance test increased with age, while those with weight problems or diabetes were more likely to fail. The study’s targeted research looked at age, gender, BMI, history of heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol. The final results determined that the risk of death over 10 years was 1.84 times higher in participants who failed the balance test than in those who did.
The test has its limitations, Araújo noted: “This is an observational study and, as such, cannot establish the cause. As the participants were all white Brazilians, the results may no longer be widely applicable to other ethnicities and nations. , the researchers warn. “