The inability to stand on one leg for 10 seconds after age 50 may indicate an impending premature death, new studies suggest.

Researchers have found that those who fail the balance test are at twice the risk of dying for any reason over the next decade. The study reported that one in six poor balancers died within 10 years, compared to one in 22 who passed the test.

Experts take into account other conditions that may affect your ability to balance, such as poor health and obesity, and even with these factors in mind, there is a risk of death if the task cannot be completed. Found to rise 84%.

Standing time on one leg is a measure of postural instability, and some experts believe that it can be deeper than physical fitness and is actually the result of the presence of brain problems.

The author of the study, Dr. Claudio Gil Arauho of Clinimex Exercise and Sports Medicine in Brazil, said:

“This test adds useful information about the risk of death for middle-aged and older men and women.”

Unlike aerobic fitness, strength, and flexibility, balance tends to be moderately maintained until you reach your 60s, when you begin to decline relatively quickly.

The study asked 1,702 participants aged 51-75 to perform a balance test and monitored it between February 2009 and December 2020.

One in five did not stand on one leg for 10 seconds. Only 5pc aged 51-55 could manage the test, but more than one-third of those aged 66-70 were able to run the test.

In general, those who failed the test were in poor health, a higher percentage were obese, and / or had heart disease, hypertension, and an unhealthy blood fat profile. Type 2 diabetes was three times more common in the failed group.

After considering age, gender, and underlying condition, the inability to stand unsupported for 10 seconds on one leg almost doubles the risk of death over the next 10 years.

The study was published by British Journal of Sports Medicine..

Telegraph Media Group Limited [2022]

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