Everything in life is balance.
Middle-aged people who can’t balance on one leg for 10 seconds have a dramatically increased risk of dying within seven years, according to a new study.
The researchers asked 1,702 Brazilians between the ages of 51 and 75 to take the brief physical test, and then tracked their health over the following years.
The study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine on Wednesday, states that the simple test should be included during a person’s annual physical, as it provides “useful information on mortality risk in middle-aged and older men and women. “.
As part of the so-called “flamingo test,” each participant was asked to stand barefoot on one leg while keeping the other leg raised in the air, as if imitating one of the pink birds. They were also asked to keep their heads up and their arms straight at their sides for the entire 10-second duration.
Of the 1,702 participants, 20% were unable to complete the test.
As expected, the test became more difficult with age. Only 5% of participants between the ages of 51 and 55 failed the flamingo test, and the number increased to 54% for those between 71 and 75 years old.
However, in addition to older age, those who failed the test were more likely to be overweight and three times more likely to have diabetes, the researchers found.
After an average follow-up time of seven years, 7% of the participants had died. Revealingly, 17.5% of the people who failed the test were among those who had died, compared to just 5% of those who managed to pass the test.
The researchers concluded that there was an “84% increased risk of all-cause mortality” for people who were unable to complete the flamingo test, “even when other potentially confounding variables, such as age, gender, and the BMI…”
“We regularly need…a one-legged stance, getting out of a car, going up or down a step or ladder, etc. Not having this ability or being afraid to do so is probably related to the loss of autonomy and, consequently, less exercise and the snowball begins”, study author Dr. Claudio Gil Araújo, from the Medicine Clinic of the CLINIMEX exercise in Rio de Janeiro. Janeiro, he told CNN.
The study attracted widespread attention on social media, with people taking to Twitter to share their thoughts.
“Easily passing the flamenco test. Looks like all of you will be stuck with me for another 7 years.” an arrogant Twitter user gloated.
However, others claimed that the test was too general and did not take into account a variety of nuances that were likely to affect the results.
“How many people with MS and many other medical problems watch the flamingo quiz and laugh. A lot of us haven’t been able to do that for years and we’re still here.” a skeptic wrote.