Your risk of death can be determined by taking this quick, 10-second balance test.

Date:24 June 2022 Author: Juandre

A nearly twofold increase in mortality risk is associated with the inability to balance for 10 seconds on one leg in middle to later life.

The inability to stand on one leg for 10 seconds at any age is connected with a nearly doubling of the risk of dying from any cause over the next 10 years. The British Journal of Sports Medicine published fresh research results on this on June 21, 2022.

The researchers suggest that routine health examinations for older persons might include this straightforward and secure balance test.

Contrary to aerobic fitness, muscle strength, and flexibility, balance often remains very well preserved until the sixth decade of life, when it begins to degrade relatively quickly.

Balance testing, however, is not typically done during health examinations of middle-aged and older men and women. This may be due to the lack of a valid test for it and the paucity of concrete evidence connecting balance to clinical outcomes other than falls.

Scientists set out to answer the question of whether a balance test may be a reliable predictor of a person’s likelihood of dying from any cause within the following 10 years and, as such, might merit inclusion in routine health checks in later life.

Participants in the CLINIMEX Exercise cohort study served as a source of information for the researchers. This was created in 1994 to investigate the connections between various fitness measurements, exercise-related variables, conventional cardiovascular risk factors, ill health, and mortality.

1702 people between the ages of 51 and 75 at their initial examination who participated between February 2009 and December 2020 were included in the analysis. They were mostly men—about 68% of them.

We measured waist size, weight, and numerous skinfold thicknesses. Also given were specifics regarding medical background. We only included people whose gaits were steady.

Participants were required to stand unaided for 10 seconds on one leg as part of the check-up.

Participants were instructed to maintain their arms by their sides and their gaze fixed straight ahead while placing the front of the free foot on the rear of the opposing lower leg to increase the test’s uniformity. On either foot, you were allowed three tries.

A total of 348 participants, or about 20.5%, did not pass the exam. The incapacity to do so increased with age, roughly tripling at subsequent 5-year intervals beginning between the ages of 51 and 55.

The percentages of those who were unable to balance for 10 seconds on one leg were: about 5% in the 51-55 age group; 8% in the 56-60 age group; 16% in the 61-65 age group; and just under 37% in the 66-70 age group.

Around 54% of people between the ages of 71 and 75 were unable to complete the test, which is more than half. In other words, participants in this age bracket had a more than 11-fold higher risk of failing the test than those who were only 20 years younger.

In general, those who failed the test had poorer health: a higher proportion was obese, and/or had heart disease, high blood pressure, and unhealthy blood fat profiles. And type 2 diabetes was 3 times as common in this group: 38% vs around 13%.

 

 

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