Life is about balance.
Middle-aged people who cannot balance on one leg for 10 seconds have a dramatically increased risk of dying within seven years, has a new study found.
Researchers asked 1,702 Brazilians between the ages of 51 and 75 to undergo the short physical test and subsequently monitored their health over the following years.
The study, published in British Journal of Sports Medicine on Wednesday, argues 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 holding their other leg raised in the air, as if imitating one of the hot-pink birds. They were also required to keep their head upright and their arms right next to them for 10 seconds.
Of the 1,702 participants, 20% were unable to complete the test.
Not surprisingly, the test became more difficult with age. Only 5% of participants between 51 and 55 years of age failed the flamingo test, and the number increased to 54% for persons between 71 and 75 years of age.
In addition to older age, those who failed the test were more likely to be overweight and were three times as likely to have diabetes, the researchers found.
After an average follow-up time of seven years, 7% of the participants had passed away. Significantly, 17.5% of those who did not pass the test were among those who died, compared to only 5% of those who passed the test.
The researchers concluded that there was an “84% higher risk of mortality from all causes” for people who were unable to complete the flamingo test, “even when other potentially confusing variables such as age, gender and BMI … were taken into account. consideration.”
“We regularly need … a one-legged position, to move out of a car, to climb or to go down a step or stairs, and so on. Not to have this ability or to be afraid to do it, is probably related to loss of autonomy and as a result less exercise and the snowball starts, «study author Dr. Claudio Gil Araújo, from Exercise Medicine Clinic CLINIMEX in Rio de Janeiro, told CNN.
The survey attracted wide attention on social media, where people took to Twitter to share their thoughts.
“Passes the flamingo test easily. It looks like you’ll all be stuck with me for another 7 years.” a handsome Twitter user cheered.
However, others argued that the test was too generalized and did not take into account a number of nuances that were likely to affect the results.
“How many people with MS and many other medical problems look at the flamingo test and laugh. Many of us have not been able to do that for years and we are still here. wrote a skeptic.