Standing on one leg for 10 secs can determine health status
A new study shows that middle-aged people who could not hold the position are more likely to be overweight, have high blood pressure and type two diabetes.
Only 4.5 per cent of people who passed the test have died within the last seven years, compared to 17.5 per cent of those who fell over.
Researchers also found that fallers are 84 per cent more likely to die within the next decade, with people with poor balance also more likely to suffer from mental decline.
The study's lead author Dr Claudio Gil Araujo, from the Clinimex exercise medicine clinic in Rio de Janeiro, said: "Ageing is associated with a decline in physical fitness and muscle strength, power, flexibility, balance and body composition."
Dr Araujo has suggested that doctors can use the test as a simple method to determine those who are weaker and more likely to have fatal falls or diseases.
He said: "This simple and inexpensive balance assessment could help predict survival and benefit health professionals evaluating and treating older adults."
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