It’s called ‘The Flamingo Challenge’. Researchers have found that if you can’t balance on one leg for more than 10 consecutive seconds, you have an increased risk of death in seven years.
The team of global researchers examined data on 1,072 people from the age of 51 to 75 in Brazil. The subjects were asked to stand on one leg for 10 seconds without any additional support. They were asked to take off their shoes and socks, place the front of the free foot on the back on the opposite lower leg, while keeping their arms by their sides, to standardize the assessment.
The subjects were allowed three attempts at the challenge.
“One in five people (20%) failed to pass the test, with the inability to do so rising with age – 54% of those aged 71 to 75 were unable to balance on one leg for 10 seconds compared to just 5% of 51 to 55-year-olds, 8% of 56 to 60-year-olds, 18% of 61 to 65-year-olds and 37% of 66 to 70-year-olds,” according to an article by Sky News.
People who failed the assessment were more likely to be of an older age and/or overweight and have diabetes.
After a follow-up study, seven years later, researchers found that 123 of the group had died or 7%. “Some 17.5% of people who failed the test were among those who had died, compared to 4.6% of those who passed,” reported Sky News.
Research concluded that if a person could not stand on one leg for 10 seconds, they were associated with a 84% increased risk during the seven years after the assessment.
According to Sky News, the researchers concluded that the balance assessment “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”.