Inability to balance on one leg at later stages of life raises risk of death, says study

Edited By: Gandharv Walia
London   Updated: Jun 21, 2022, 09:18 AM(IST)

Inability to balance on one leg at later stages of life raises risk of death, says study (representative image). Photograph:( Zee News Network )

Story highlights

For the study carried out from 2008 to 2020, around 1,702 people, who were aged between 51 and 75 and had stable gait, were included. The participants were asked to stand on one leg for 10 seconds without any support. Three attempts on either foot were allowed. Around 21% could not pass the test. In the next decade, 123 people died of several causes

The ability to balance on one leg can give valuable insights about one’s health at later stages of life, says a recent study. The chances of dying in a decade are twice for middle-aged person or senior citizen who are not able to stand on one leg for more than 10 seconds than those people who can do it, added the study. This 12-year research, which shows the link between balance and mortality, has been carried out by a group of international experts belonging to the US, the UK, Finland, Australia and Brazil.   

This study, which was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, was observational and cannot establish the cause. It was led by Dr Claudio Gil Araujo of the Clinimex exercise medicine clinic in Rio de Janeiro. As the findings are striking, the researchers suggest that a balance test should always be done in health checkups of older people.  

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For the study carried out from 2008 to 2020, around 1,702 people, who were aged between 51 and 75 and had stable gait, were included. The participants were asked to stand on one leg for 10 seconds without any support. Three attempts on either foot were allowed. Around 21% could not pass the test. In the next decade, 123 people died of several causes.  

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The inability to stand on one leg for more than 10 seconds in adults showed to increase the risk of death from any cause by 84%. The researchers said the test “provides rapid and objective feedback for the patient and health professionals regarding static balance” and “adds useful information regarding mortality risk in middle-aged and older men and women”.  

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(With inputs from agencies) 

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