According to a recent research, if you are unable to stand on one foot for ten seconds at the present time, your risk of dying over the following decade is increased by a factor of two.
On the other hand, the research indicates that a longer life expectancy is associated with the ability to balance when standing on one foot.
Balance is a more comprehensive indicator of life expectancy across age ranges than aerobic fitness, flexibility, or muscle strength, according to the findings of a study that was conducted by Brazilian researchers and published on Tuesday in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. The study was conducted to determine whether or not a person’s ability to maintain balance can be preserved into the sixth decade of one’s life.
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According to Dr. Claudio Gil Soares de Arajo, the primary author of the study and a sports and exercise physician at the Exercise Medicine Clinic Clinimex in Rio de Janeiro, poor balance is linked to frailty in older adults, and one’s musculoskeletal fitness is a prime indicator of one’s overall health status.
“If you are younger than 70 years, you are expected to successfully finish the 10 seconds (as the majority of individuals at that age),” Arajo told USA TODAY in an emailed statement. “This applies to the majority of persons at that age.” “If you are older than 70 years of age and finish it, you will have a superior static balance state than your age-peers… The 10-second OLS test has a number of benefits, including the fact that it is easy to do, as well as the fact that it offers immediate, risk-free, and objective feedback to both the patient and the health care professionals about static balance.”
Arajo recommended that people try a 15-second balance test of their own during their morning routine when they are brushing their teeth at home, to use as a barometer for their wellbeing. This recommendation came in conjunction with the suggestion that people visit their doctors on a regular basis and have a balance test performed on them.
For the purpose of the study, the researchers selected 1,702 volunteers with ages ranging from 51 to 75, with 61 being the average age of the participants. Their first examination, which began in 2008 and continued until 2012, consisted of collecting information on the participants’ weight, waist size, and other measurements of body fat. Only those who were able to walk without stumbling were considered for inclusion in their study. After that, all of the participants were given the task of standing on one leg for ten seconds while without hanging onto anything for support. The exam was failed by one in every five people. Every participant was given three opportunities to place the back of their other foot on the weight-bearing leg of their body. The weight-bearing leg might be barefoot or the participant could be wearing a good tennis shoe.
The individuals’ failure to pass the balancing test was shown to grow with their age, and those who struggled with their weight or had diabetes were more likely to fail the exam. Age, gender, body mass index, family history of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol were all taken into account in the study’s concluding findings. In the final analysis, it was determined that those participants who failed the balance test had a 1.84 times greater risk of passing away within the next decade compared to those who were successful in passing the test.
Arajo pointed out that the test had several limitations: “Because this is just an observational research, we are unable to draw any conclusions about what caused what. Due to the fact that all of the participants were white Brazilians, the researchers warn that their results may not be relevant to people of other races or countries.”