Inability to stand on one leg for 10 seconds in mid to later life linked to near doubling in risk of death

  

Category:  Health, Science & Technology

Via:  buzz-of-the-orient  •  6 days ago  •  33 comments

By:   by British Medical Journal

Inability to stand on one leg for 10 seconds in mid to later life linked to near doubling in risk of death

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



Inability to stand on one leg for 10 seconds in mid to later life linked to near doubling in risk of death

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Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

The inability to stand on one leg for 10 seconds in mid- to later life is linked to a near doubling in the risk of death from any cause within the next 10 years, finds research published online in the  British Journal of Sports Medicine .

This simple and safe   balance   test could be included in routine health checks for older adults, say the researchers.

Unlike aerobic fitness and muscle strength and flexibility, balance tends to be reasonably well preserved until the sixth decade of life, when it starts to wane relatively rapidly, note the researchers.

Yet balance assessment isn't routinely included in health checks of   middle-aged   and older men and women, possibly because there isn't any standardized test for it, and there are few hard data linking it to clinical outcomes other than falls, they add.

The researchers therefore wanted to find out whether a balance test might be a reliable indicator of a person's risk of death from any cause within the next decade, and, as such, might therefore merit inclusion in routine health checks in later life.

The researchers drew on participants in the CLINIMEX Exercise cohort study. This was set up in 1994 to assess associations between various measures of   physical fitness , exercise-related variables, and conventional cardiovascular risk factors, with ill health and death.

The current analysis included 1,702 participants aged 51-75 (average of 61) at their first checkup, between February 2009 and December 2020. Around two thirds (68%) were men.

Weight and several measures of skinfold thickness plus waist size were taken. Details of medical history were also provided. Only those with stable gait were included.

As part of the checkup, participants were asked to stand on one leg for 10 seconds without any additional support.

To improve standardization of the test, participants were asked to place the front of the free foot on the back of the opposite lower leg, while keeping their arms by their sides and their gaze fixed straight ahead. Up to three attempts on either foot were permitted.

In all, around 1 in 5 (20.5%; 348) participants failed to pass the test. The inability to do so rose in tandem with age, more or less doubling at subsequent 5 year intervals from the age of 51-55 onwards.

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.

During an average monitoring period of 7 years, 123 (7%) people died: cancer (32%); cardiovascular disease (30%); respiratory disease (9%); and COVID-19 complications (7%).

There were no clear temporal trends in the deaths, or differences in the causes, between those able to complete the test and those who weren't able to do so.

But the proportion of deaths among those who failed the test was significantly higher: 17.5% vs. 4.5%, reflecting an absolute difference of just under 13%.

In general, those who failed the test had poorer health: a higher proportion were obese, and/or had heart disease, high blood pressure, and unhealthy blood fat profiles. And type 2 diabetes was 3 times as common in this group: 38% vs. around 13%.

After accounting for age, sex, and underlying conditions, an inability to stand unsupported on one leg for 10 seconds was associated with an 84% heightened risk of death from any cause within the next decade.

This is an observational study, and as such, can't establish cause. As participants were all white Brazilians, the findings might not be more widely applicable to other ethnicities and nations, caution the researchers.

And information on potentially influential factors, including recent history of falls, physical activity levels, diet, smoking and the use of drugs that might interfere with balance wasn't available.

Nevertheless, the researchers conclude that the 10-second   balance test   "provides rapid and objective feedback for the patient and health professionals regarding static balance," and that the test "adds useful information regarding   mortality risk   in middle-aged and older men and women."


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Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient    6 days ago

Woe is me.  Although I could stay on one foot for 15 seconds it was very shaky and I needed to wave both of my arms to keep balanced and could not do it as required, i.e. with arms at my sides and the free foot behind the one I was standing on, for even 3 seconds.  But then, at my age, how many more years do I have anyway?

No, I will NOT change my avatar because of my failing that test.

Can the older NT members do it?

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
Professor Guide
1.1  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1    5 days ago

TC Buzz, it has been fun and gl to you.

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
2  JBB    6 days ago

I guess I'm going to die. My balance was never good.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
2.1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  JBB @2    6 days ago
"I guess I'm going to die."

Not necessarily, it just means your chances of survival are reduced, although if I were you I wouldn't let the Mossad know where you are.

 
 
 
pat wilson
Professor Guide
2.1.1  pat wilson  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.1    6 days ago
"I guess I'm going to die."
Not necessarily, it just means your chances of survival are reduced,

jrSmiley_86_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2.2  Texan1211  replied to  JBB @2    6 days ago

32bc96a54ce60d4d36eab172a91abfb1.jpeg

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
2.2.1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Texan1211 @2.2    6 days ago

Who the 'ell is Elle?

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2.2.2  Texan1211  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.2.1    6 days ago
Who the 'ell is Elle?

No clue, but I liked the meme and figured JBB could certainly appreciate a good  meme!

 
 
 
Mark in Wyoming
Professor Silent
3  Mark in Wyoming     6 days ago

I take it that this test is for those that have had no injuries or accidents in their lifetime .

broke both ankles while in the military one of them twice  in my 20s .

blew out my right knee at work in my 30s 

 took a couple GOOD shots upside the head from the ex wife that ruptured an ear drum  in my 40s 

 had 2 different motocycle wrecks ( 1 i was run over by a drunk driver ) that messed up my hips in my 50s 

 just started my 60s and you want me to try what? that may be pressing my luck.

 on a good note /. i can still bend at the waist and touch the floor .

bumbles bounce , but this bumbles is getting too old for that s*%t

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
3.1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Mark in Wyoming @3    6 days ago

Do you happen to keep a rabbit's foot or 4 leaf clover with you?

 
 
 
Mark in Wyoming
Professor Silent
3.1.1  Mark in Wyoming   replied to  Buzz of the Orient @3.1    6 days ago

rabbits foot isnt very lucky for the rabbit , and the only clover i usually end up with is the clover i roll her over in and that hasnt happened in more than a decade .....

 besides , im mostly deaf , almost blind in one eye , have no teeth , had my nutz cut , and am missing a finger ... yet people continue to call me Lucky as a nickname ....

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
3.1.2  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Mark in Wyoming @3.1.1    6 days ago

It's good to know you have no serious disabilities.

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
PhD Guide
3.2  Jeremy Retired in NC  replied to  Mark in Wyoming @3    6 days ago
I take it that this test is for those that have had no injuries or accidents in their lifetime . broke both ankles while in the military one of them twice  in my 20s .

I knew I would fail this before I even stood up.  A military career in the 82d Airborne will tear you apart.  Two blast related TBI's, shot 4 times, a concussion or three...  

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
PhD Quiet
4  igknorantzrulz    6 days ago

Piece of proverbial cake, so I ate it too, while performing 

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
4.1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  igknorantzrulz @4    6 days ago

Was it chocolate or white?

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
PhD Quiet
4.1.1  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @4.1    6 days ago

Vanilla 

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
4.1.2  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  igknorantzrulz @4.1.1    6 days ago

You reminded me that back in Toronto my favourite cake was a chocolate and vanilla swirl marble cake...

ace6bc20a07e69e20323d2aa99c0a769ec1ee3b8.jpeg

 
 
 
charger 383
Professor Quiet
5  charger 383    6 days ago

I just passed that test while holding a beer.  

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
5.1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  charger 383 @5    6 days ago

Depends on whether the beer can was full or recently emptied.  Try again with one in each hand, after drinking both - balance, my friend, balance. 

 
 
 
charger 383
Professor Quiet
5.1.1  charger 383  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @5.1    6 days ago

A bottle in each hand was harder but I did it, so I think I deserve one more beer before bed

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
5.1.2  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  charger 383 @5.1.1    6 days ago

Be my guest.  Sleep well. 

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
6  CB     6 days ago

Hi Buzz! While I can do this test and pass it. My 'version' of reading about this test some time ago was to stand on one foot and close your eyes. That was 'revealing' to me. Because when I close my eyes-I could not keep the pose. That was alarming enough for me to 'leave off' on it. I will recheck the article and recheck myself! Once the 'day' arrives here! :)

 
 
 
JaneDoe
Sophomore Silent
7  JaneDoe    6 days ago

I got bored after a minute and 40 seconds. 

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
7.1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  JaneDoe @7    6 days ago

Be careful.  If you fall asleep while on one foot you could fall and break a hip.

 
 
 
bccrane
Freshman Silent
7.2  bccrane  replied to  JaneDoe @7    5 days ago

I went for 30 seconds, that should get me another 30 years, I would be about 90 then, that's long enough.

 
 
 
JaneDoe
Sophomore Silent
7.2.1  JaneDoe  replied to  bccrane @7.2    5 days ago

I’d be happy with 30 more too.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
8  CB     5 days ago

Yo! Now that I am fully awake (my early comment was before sunrise), I realize this article says standing for 10 SECONDS on one foot. . . well, I can do that for over a minute or two. Sadly, when I close both eyes-I wobble all over the place and tip over.

If you look at this link:

VIDEO: Can you stand on one leg with your eyes closed? It’s a proposed new sobriety test

This is what I look like (not me in the video of course) standing on one foot with eyes closed. And I haven't been drinking alcohol! I don't think this should be a new sobriety test since sober people can fail it. Aside from the other issue of balance.

Try this! Try closing one eye as you stand on one foot and use its corresponding eye (close the other eye). See how long you last and then switch to the other leg and corresponding eye!

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
9  CB     5 days ago

Question: The article does not mention or I missed it possibly? Can we better pass this test with repeated practice of standing on one leg with different standing and eyes open/close combos?

Does this signify that our muscles are out of tone and needs more exercise?

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
9.1  JBB  replied to  CB @9    5 days ago

Physical fitness improves balance and longevity.

Balance is a prime indicator of physical health...

The correlation is between physicality and fitness.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
9.1.1  CB   replied to  JBB @9.1    5 days ago

I can read between the lines on that one! Thanks JBB!

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
9.1.2  CB   replied to  CB @9.1.1    5 days ago

I am going to work on my balance on one leg with eyes opened, and closed! Bet! 

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
10  JBB    5 days ago

Being overweight impedes standing on one foot for very long the same as it impedes living for very long!

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
10.1  CB   replied to  JBB @10    5 days ago

I hear you. Our diets in the land of the free are a disaster. I see some really nice people who simply are 'help-less' against the loss of function and limitations on activity-due to weight. Weight can be a vicious circle. People tend to lose all sense of what is the root cause of their whole system issues due to what they are consuming in mass quantities!

 
 

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