Is better balance the key to a longer life?
Middle-aged people who can’t stand on one leg for 10 seconds are nearly twice as likely to die within a decade, according to new research.
Scientists in Brazil say the simple and safe balance test should become part of a routine health check for older adults.
The research team wanted to know whether a balance test might be a reliable indicator of a person’s risk of death from any cause within the next decade and whether the test should therefore be part of routine health checks.
As part of the check-up, participants had to stand on one leg for 10 seconds without any additional support. They were asked to place the front of the free foot on the back of the opposite lower leg while keeping their arms by their sides and their gaze fixed straight ahead. Researchers allowed each person to try it up to three times on either foot.
Risk of Death Increases By More Than 80 percent!
Those deaths included 32 percent dying of cancer, 30 percent dying of cardiovascular disease, nine percent from respiratory disease, and seven percent from Covid-19 complications.
The proportion of deaths among those who failed the test was significantly higher: 17.5 percent compared to just 4.5 percent. In general, those who failed the balance test had poorer health. Many were obese, had heart disease, high blood pressure and had too much fat in the blood.