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Can you balance on one foot in ten seconds? It’s more important than it seems

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The study involved nearly 2,000 people and took place over a decade. In view of the results obtained, the researchers suggest that it be part of the routine examinations performed on the elderly.

If you have difficulty balancing on one leg – the mythical 4 – be aware that this could be a sign that something serious may be happening to your body.

In fact, middle-aged and older people who can’t balance on one leg for 10 seconds have almost as much double the probability die in the period ten yearscompared to those who do, points to further investigation.

A person’s ability to balance themselves seems to give insight into their state of health. Previous studies, for example, have suggested that an inability to balance in one leg is linked to higher risk of strokeothers pointing out that poor balance is associated with mental decline (and dementia).

Recently, an international group of researchers from the UK, USA, Australia, Finland and Brazil completed a unpublished study of 12 years during which they examined the relationship between balance and mortality. Although the investigation had a strong observational component and it was not possible to establish the cause, the results were impressive.

According to the findings, the inability to stand on one leg for 10 seconds in midlife or later is linked to a nearly doubled risk of death from any cause after ten years.

The results, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, are so serious that the researchers, led by Claudio Gil Araujoa Brazilian researcher from the Exercise Medicine Clinic, suggest that a balance test could be included in the health checks seniors.

according The Guardianunlike aerobic capacity, muscle strength and flexibility, balance tends to be easily preserved until sixth decade of lifebenchmark from which it begins to decrease quite rapidly.

However, balance assessment is not usually included in examinations for the elderly, perhaps because there is no standardized version.

Between 2008 and 2020, a total of 1,702 people between 51 and 75 years old and with a stable gait were followed. In a first phase, participants were asked to stand on one leg for 10 seconds without any additional support.

To standardize the test, they were asked to place the front of their free foot on the back of opposite leg, keeping your arms along your body and looking straight ahead. were allowed until three attempts on each foot.

In the final balance, One out of five (21%) failed the test. Over the next decade, 123 people died of various causes.

After controlling for age, sex and underlying conditions, the inability to stand unsupported on one leg for 10 seconds has been associated with an increased risk of 84% death from any cause.

The investigators noted that the study had limitations, including that the participants were all White Braziliansmeaning that the results might not be more widely transferable to other ethnicities and nations.

However, the researchers concluded that the 10-second balance test “provides a quick feedback and objective for the patient and healthcare professionals regarding static balance” and “adds information Useful relative to mortality risk in middle-aged and older men and women.

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