Are you between 50 and 80 years old and can you balance on one leg for 10 seconds? If the answer is yes, then you should not worry, your risk of dying in the next ten years is low. It was revealed from an investigation published in the journal British Journal of Sports Medicine, This is a very common exercise in disciplines like yoga that can be done from home. At first glance this is a simple challenge, but it requires a lot of concentration, both mentally and physically.
Researchers, after twelve years of testing and 1,072 people, concluded that being able to balance on one leg for 10 seconds nearly doubled the chances of dying within ten years in older and middle-aged people. , regardless of gender and age, among other conditions.
Is balance a reliable indicator of death risk?
Experts from Brazil, Finland, the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom wanted to find out whether the balance test could be a reliable indicator of a person’s risk of dying from any cause over the next decade.
In contrast to aerobic fitness, muscular strength and flexibility, balance remains reasonably well preserved until the sixth decade of life, when it begins to decline relatively rapidly, the researchers explained in a statement, indicating that it is necessary to support it. There is very little solid data for For clinical outcomes other than falling.
To conduct the research, experts relied on the CLINIMEX Exercise Group Study. The current analysis included 1,702 participants aged 51 to 75 years at their first checkup between February 2009 and December 2020; About two-thirds (68%) were male.
Exercise involves maintaining balance on one leg for 10 seconds
To perform the test, in addition to waist size, various measurements of weight and skin thickness were taken; Medical history details were also provided and only those with a stable gait were included. As part of the check, participants were asked to stand on one leg for 10 seconds without any additional support.
To improve the standardization of the test, they were asked to place the front of the free leg on the back of the opposite leg, with their hands at their sides and looking straight ahead; Up to three attempts were allowed on each leg.
Overall, 1 out of 5 participants failed the exam. The inability to do so increased with increasing age, more or less doubling in the span of 5 years from 51–55 years. Ultimately, more than half (about 54%) of those aged 71 to 75 were unable to complete the test.
During a median follow-up period of seven years, 123 (7%) deaths occurred: cancer (32%); heart disease (30%); respiratory diseases (9%); and covid complications (7%). Here comes the key point of the investigation: the proportion of deaths among those who did not pass the test was quite high. 17.5% versus 4.5%, reflecting an absolute difference of just under 13%.
In general, those who failed the test had poor health: a higher proportion were obese and/or had heart disease, high blood pressure and unhealthy blood fat profiles.
an observational study
This is an observational study and thus cannot establish causation, and since all participants were white Brazilians, the results may not be more applicable to other races and nations, the researchers caution.
In addition, information was not available on potentially influencing factors, such as a recent history of decline, physical activity level, diet, smoking and drug use.