Researchers found that older people that can’t balance on one leg for 10 seconds have an 84% greater chance of dying within the next 10 years.

I’ve known about this for many years but this is the first time I’ve read about a long-term study that confirms it.

The study was conducted over 12 years and examined if there was a link between balance and mortality.

A lack of balance is thought to be a sign of underlying health conditions. It’s thought that a poor sense of balance may also be linked with getting dementia. It’s not known what causes this link though.

The research was done on middle-aged and older people. It’s not thought that there’s a link between balance and health in younger people.

Those that failed to stand one leg for 10 seconds had an 84% increased chance of dying from any cause.

Most people up to the age of around 60 tend to have a good sense of balance. After age 60, this can decline quite rapidly.

The Research

Between 2008 and 2020, the researchers followed 1,702 people aged 51 to 75.

The initial test was standardized so that all participants did the same test. They had to stand on one leg with the front of their other foot resting on the back of the standing leg. They had to look straight ahead and keep their arms by their sides.

The participants were allowed to have up to three attempts. They could use either foot to stand on.

21% of people failed the test?

How about you? Try it and see if you can balance for 10 seconds. Make sure that you’re in a safe area with something to balance on if you need to. I don’t want you falling over and hurting yourself. If your sense of balance is already bad, I would suggest not trying this.

Over the next 12 years, 123 of the participants died.

Those that failed to stand one leg for 10 seconds had an 84% increased chance of dying from any cause.

If you fail the test, I would suggest getting a health check-up to see if you have any underlying health conditions that you may not be aware of.

Guinness World Record for balancing on one foot

When I was around 12 years old I used to love reading the Guinness Book of World Records. Not only that, but I wanted to be in the book. After reading through it, the easiest world record to beat seemed to be balancing on one foot.

If I remember correctly, the record was around 7 or 8 hours. As a 12-year-old, I thought that could easily be beaten. I tried. After a few minutes, I got bored and gave up. So much for perseverance.

I just looked up the current world record. It was set on 25 May 1997. Suresh Arulanantham Joachim balanced on one foot for 76 hours and 40 minutes.

I guess he won’t be dying anytime soon!