Can you stand on one foot for 10 seconds without wobbling? If not, you are twice as likely to die in 10 years.
A new study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that people who failed to balance on one foot for 10 seconds were nearly twice as likely to die in the next 10 years.
The researchers tested 1,702 participants from ages 51 to 75 for the study, with the average age set at 61.
Lead researcher, Dr. Claudio Gil Soares de Araújo found that poor balance and musculoskeletal fitness can be linked with frailty in older adults.
“If you are younger than 70 years, you are expected to successfully complete the 10 seconds,” Araújo wrote in an email to USA TODAY. “For those older than 70 years of age, if you complete it, you are in better static balance status than your age-peers…”
“Aged people falling are in very high risk of major fractures and other related complications. This may play a role in the higher risk of mortality,” he said.
Only individuals who could walk steadily were included in the study. Participants were all asked to stand on one leg for 10 seconds without resting their foot on one leg or holding onto anything for support. One in 5 participants failed the test.
The inability of participants to pass the balance test increased with age, while those with weight problems or diabetes were more likely to fail, USA Today reported.