This balancing act can determine how long you will live

Middle-aged people who can’t stand on one leg for at least 10 seconds are at a higher risk of dying within a decade, a new study finds. The results come from a survey of fitness and health of 1,702 people over the age of 50 in Brazil, which began in 2009.

For the study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, participants were given a simple exercise to lift one foot and place it behind the opposite lower leg — without touching the ground — while keeping their arms at their sides. and look ahead. They got three tries. One in five failed the test.

In the study, the death rate among people who failed the test was significantly higher, at 17.5%, than among those who passed, at 4.5%.

Thanks to the study, health experts pointed out that adding a balance component to routine physical exams for the elderly could provide doctors with important health information. With 680,000 people dying worldwide each year, this 10-second test can easily be used to help identify those who may be vulnerable.

“The test was remarkably safe, well received by participants and, most importantly, easy to incorporate into our routine as it takes less than 1 or 2 minutes to be applied,” they concluded.

The researchers found no increased risk of a specific cause of death related to balance.

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