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, a new study has found.
Researchers asked 1702 Brazilians between the ages of 51 and 75 to undergo the short physical test and then followed up their health during the following years.
The study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine on Wednesday, claims that the simple test should be included in a person’s annual physical, as it provides “useful information on the mortality risk of 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 the other leg raised in the air, as if imitating one of the warm-pink birds. They were also required to keep their heads upright and their arms right next to them for 10 seconds.
Of the 1,702 participants, 20% failed to complete the test.
Not surprisingly, 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 rose to 54% for people between the ages of 71 and 75.
However, in addition to older age, those who failed the test were more likely to be overweight and three times as likely to have diabetes, the researchers found.
After an average follow-up period of seven years, 7% of the participants had passed away. Significantly, 17.5% of the people who failed the test were among those who had died, compared to only 5% of those who managed to pass the test.
The researchers concluded that there was an “84% higher risk of all-cause mortality” 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. . “
«We regularly need a one-legged posture, to move out of a car, to climb or go down a step or a staircase and so on. Not having this ability or being afraid to do it is likely to be associated with a loss of autonomy and, as a result, less exercise and the snowball starts, »study author Dr. Claudio Gil Araújo, at the CLINIMEX Exercise Medicine Clinic in Rio de Janeiro, told CNN.
The study attracted a lot of attention on social media, with people taking to Twitter to share their thoughts.
«Easily passes the flamingo test. Looks like you’ll all be stuck with me for another 7 years » a cocky Twitter user rejoiced.
Others, however, argued that the test was too generalized and did not take into account a number of nuances that would probably 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 several years and we are still here. wrote a skeptic.