Updated: Nov 7
Our HealthHelp Series provides information you can use to increase your health and develop a custom healthy lifestyle. We’ve found an easy diagnostic tool you can use at home and a solution to increase your quality of life.
What You Need to Know: Based on research, a simple 10-second one-legged stance test predicts survival of Gen-X and older adults.
According to the findings, middle-aged and older adults who couldn't perform the 10-second standing test were nearly four times as likely to die compared to those who passed the test. Interestingly, these causes of death include heart attacks, strokes, cancer, and more. Results were published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
Analysis By the Numbers: The analysis includes 1,702 participants aged 51–75 at their first checkup between February 2009 and December 2020. Around two-thirds (68%) were men.
The report links the inability to stand on one leg to a near doubling in risk of death.
Why it Matters: Aging is correlated to the progressive decline in physical health and reduction in elements of aerobic and non-aerobic fitness. Moreover, several studies have shown a reduction in balance after the age of 55 years, thus increasing the odds of sustaining a fatal fall and other adverse outcomes.
About the Study: The study was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine and was conducted by research groups from Brazil, UK, USA, Finland and Australia. They jointly analyzed the data from the CLINIMEX Exercise cohort (Rio de Janeiro, Brasil) obtained between 2008 to 2020.
HealthHelp Series 7-Step Solution
If you find it challenging to stand on one leg for 10 seconds, then execute these 7-steps to improve your balance and stability. Let's get started:
Start with shorter durations: Begin by attempting to stand on one leg for a shorter period, such as 2 or 5 seconds. As you build strength and stability, gradually increase the duration.
Practice regularly: Consistency is key when working on balance. Aim to practice standing on one leg every day or a few times a week to enhance your progress.
Use support: Use a sturdy chair, countertop, or wall to support yourself while practicing. Place your hand lightly on the surface for balance, and gradually decrease the amount of support as you improve.
Engage your core muscles: Strong core muscles contribute to overall stability. While standing on one leg, focus on engaging your abdominal muscles by pulling your belly button in towards your spine. This can help you maintain your balance.
Concentrate on a fixed point: Choose a stationary object in front of you, such as a spot on the wall, and fix your gaze on it. This technique, known as a focal point, can help improve your balance by providing a visual reference.
Incorporate balance exercises: Include exercises that specifically target balance into your routine. Activities like yoga, Tai Chi, or Pilates can enhance your overall balance and coordination.
Work on ankle strength: Strong ankles play a crucial role in balance. Incorporate ankle-strengthening exercises into your workout regimen. Integrate ankle circles, heel-to-toe walks, or calf raises into your regime.
Remember, balance and stability take time and practice to improve. Be patient with yourself and celebrate small victories along the way.
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Author, Allen Rader – LinkedIn