The 10-second one-legged stance test that could reveal how long you’ll live for


A simple 10-second test could reveal how long you will live and how you might increase your odds of living longer.

Researchers asked a core group to complete a simple physical task — and the results were astonishing.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: The simple test that could reveal how long you’ll live.

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Participants were asked to stand for 10 seconds on one leg with the other leg tucked behind them and their arms by their side, as illustrated in the picture below.

Those who couldn’t hold the position for 10 seconds were 84 per cent more likely to die within the 12-year-long study period than those who could.

Struggling to balance may be a sign of muscle loss, leaving older people at increased risk of fatal falls, the researchers said.

Each year, more than 680,000 people worldwide die from falls or complications arising from falls, the study noted.

Participants were asked to stand on one leg for 10 seconds with their arms by their sides, as pictured here. Credit: YouTube/CLINIMEX

Lead researcher Dr Claudio Gil Araujo, from CLINIMEX in Brazil, explained the results in a video posted on YouTube.

“Our study indicates that the inability to complete a 10-second one-legged stance (OLS) in middle-aged and older participants is related to a higher risk of all-cause mortality and, consequently, to a shorter life expectancy,” he said.

The study surveyed 1702 men and women aged between 51 and 75.

In that group, 348 could not stand on one leg for 10 seconds – primarily those over 70, or those who were overweight or had diabetes.

The researchers then tracked the participants for an average of seven years between 2008 and 2020.

Of the survey group, 123 people died, with 4.6 per cent of deaths in the group that could balance on one leg for 10 seconds, and 17.5 per cent of deaths in the group that could not.

The two most common causes of death in the second group were heart disease and cancer, followed by respiratory problems and COVID-19.

Dr Araujo said the results took into account age, sex, body mass index, obesity and other health issues, but the results still indicated that mortality was still considerably higher in the second cohort.

Dr Claudio Gil Araujo. Credit: YouTube/CLINIMEX

“Ageing is associated with a progressive decline in physical fitness and reductions or impairments in components of aerobic and non-aerobic fitness, including muscle strength, power, flexibility, balance and body composition,” he said.

“It is also well-established that the combination of sarcopenic obesity and loss of flexibility and balance is detrimental to overall health, placing older adults with frailty more prone to falls and other serious adverse medical (problems).

“Indeed, falls are the second leading cause of unintentional injury-based deaths worldwide.

“Unlike aerobic fitness, muscle strength and flexibility balance tends to be reasonably preserved until the sixth decade of life, when comparatively, it starts to diminish quickly.

“Nevertheless, balance assessment is not routinely incorporated in the clinical examination of middle-aged and older individuals.”

Dr Araujo said he hoped the simple test would be incorporated as part of regular health check-ups – and that more attention would be paid to balance and how it affects our overall health.

Yoga can help to improve balance. Credit: Getty

“While it is known that good levels of balance are relevant for many daily life activities, there is considerable evidence that loss of balance is also detrimental for health and that some exercise interventions may improve balance,” he said.

Some of those exercises include yoga, regular walking, or simple tasks such as standing still with your eyes closed for 10 seconds or practising standing on one leg for as long as you can each day.

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