Standing On One Leg For Over 10 Seconds Predicts Lifespan: Practice It

Balance quickly diminishes after the mid-50s increasing the risk for falls and other adverse health outcomes. A simple test to assess balance, fall risk, and even survival, would be of value. Researchers recently assessed whether the ability to complete a 10- second one-legged stance (10-second OLS) wass associated with all-cause mortality and whether it added relevant prognostic information beyond ordinary demographic, anthropometric and clinical data.

Methods Anthropometric, clinical and vital status and 10-s OLS data were assessed in 1702 individuals (68% men) aged 51–75 years between 2008 and 2020. The participants were followed and survival curves and risk of death according to ability (YES) or inability (NO) to complete the 10-second OLS test.

Results Overall, 20.4% of the individuals were classified as NO (inability to complete 10 seconds of one legged standing). During a median follow-up of 7 years, 7.2% died, with death occurring in 4.6% (YES) and 17.5% (NO) on the 10-second OLS.

Survival curves were worse for NO 10-s OLS. In a model incorporating age, sex, body mass index and comorbidities, the risk of all-cause mortality was almost double for NO individuals compared to YES participants. Adding 10-s OLS to a model containing established risk factors was associated with significantly improved mortality risk prediction.

Conclusions The ability to successfully complete the 10-second OLS is independently associated with all-cause mortality and adds relevant prognostic information beyond age, sex and several other anthropometric and clinical variables. There is potential benefit to including the 10-s OLS as part of routine physical examination in middle-aged and older adults. Please try this simple movement and practice it regularly. 


Dr. Joel Kahn

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