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The Simple Balance Test That Could Predict Your Mortality Risk

The inability to stand on one leg for 10 seconds in mid-to-late life (over the age of 50) is linked to nearly double the risk of death from any cause over the next 10 years, according to a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

This simple balance test, which reflects overall physical fitness and coordination, showed valuable prognostic information.  This test is easy to do yourself at home.

Key Things About The “10 Second One Legged Stance” Test:

  • Inability to stand on one leg for 10 seconds is associated with a near doubling of the risk of death from any cause in the next decade.
  • The study involved 1,702 participants aged 51-75, with those unable to complete the test having a significantly higher mortality rate (17.5%) compared to those who could (4.6%).
  • Researchers recommend incorporating the 10-second one-legged stance test into routine health assessments for older adults to better predict overall health risks.
  • The study underscores the importance of physical fitness and balance in reducing mortality risk among middle-aged and older individuals​ (British Journal of Sports Medicine)​​ (BMJ Blogs)​.
  • The proportions of those unable to stand on one leg for 10 seconds were: nearly 5% among 51–55 year olds; 8% among 56–60 year olds; just under 18% among 61–65 year olds; and just under 37% among 66–70 year olds.
  • More than half (around 54%) of those aged 71–75 were unable to complete the test. In other words, people in this age group were more than 11 times as likely to fail the test as those just 20 years younger.

Improving balance is crucial for people over 50 to reduce the risk of falls and improve overall health.

Four easy steps to improve balance:

  1. Practice Tai Chi or Yoga: Both Tai Chi and Yoga are excellent for enhancing balance, flexibility, and strength. These practices involve slow, deliberate movements and poses that improve body awareness and stability.
  2. Strength Training: Building muscle strength, particularly in the legs and core, can significantly enhance balance. Simple exercises like leg lifts, squats, and heel-to-toe walks can be very effective.
  3. Balance Exercises: Specific exercises targeting balance, such as standing on one leg, heel-to-toe walking, and using a balance board, can be very beneficial. Start with holding onto a chair for support if necessary and gradually progress to doing these exercises unaided.
  4. Foot and Ankle Exercises: Strengthening the muscles in your feet and ankles can improve your balance. Simple exercises like toe raises, ankle circles, and picking up objects with your toes can help enhance stability.

BOOST PHYSIO creates tailored physiotherapy treatment to our patients individual injury or problem to help them make a quick and full recovery and get back to doing the things they love to do. As a chain of private physiotherapy clinics, we operate across eight clinics situated throughout London.

We provide expdert physiotherapy for muscle and joint injuries at our branches in: Mill Hill NW7, Elstree WD6, Swiss Cottage NW3, Hampstead NW3, Hendon NW4, East Finchley N2,  Muswell Hill N10, Borehamwood WD6 and Kensington High Street W8. We love helping people achieve their recovery and rehabilitation goals through our expert physiotherapy that is customised to their exact needs.

Why wait? We can help you today with physiotherapy treatment. Our expert private physiotherapists specialise in helping people with sports injuries, neck and back pain, knee issues, mobility difficulties and after surgery (such as ACL reconstructions and knee replacements  Appointments available from 8am to 9pm, including weekends. We even offer emergency physiotherapy sessions on Saturdays and Sundays, ensuring timely care when you need it most.

We love providing physiotherapy to people from: North London and North West London.  Areas we cover include: Hendon NW4, Mill Hill NW7, Cricklewood NW2, Hampstead NW3, Belsize Park NW3, Kilburn NW6, Queens Park, Finchley Road, Golders Green NW11, Swiss Cottage, Willesden Green NW10, Fortis Green, Crouch End, Muswell Hill N10, Southgate, Wood Green N22 and Highgate N6.

At our Elstree and Borehamwood WD6 physio clinic, we extend physiotherapy treatment to residents of Elstree, Borehamwood, Stanmore HA7, Edgware HA8, Bushey WD23, Radlett WD23, and Aldenham.

Don’t let pain stop you- get it sorted today. Make an appointment today at one of our 8 High Street Physiotherapy clinics.


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