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This balancing exercise can determine how long you will live

Middle-aged people who can’t stand on one leg for at least 10 seconds appear to be at higher risk of dying within a decade, a new study has shown. The results stem from a study of fitness and health among 1,702 people over age 50 in Brazil, starting in 2009.

For the study, which has been published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, the participants were given a simple exercise of lifting one foot and placing it behind the opposite lower leg — without touching the ground — while keeping their arms at their sides and looking forward. They were allowed three attempts. One in five failed the test. 

In the study, the proportion of deaths among people who failed the test was significantly higher, at 17.5%, than among those who passed, at 4.5%.

Owing to the study, health experts pointed out that adding a balance component to routine physical exams for older people could provide doctors with important health information. With 680,000 people dying every year globally, this 10-second test can be easily used to help identify those who may be vulnerable. 

“The test has been remarkably safe, well-received by the participants, and importantly, simple to incorporate in our routine practice as it requires less than 1 or 2  minutes to be applied,” they concluded.

 The researchers didn’t find an increased risk of any specific cause of death tied to balance.

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