Life is all about balance.
A new study has found that middle-aged people who can’t balance on one leg for 10 seconds have a significantly higher risk of dying within seven years.
The researchers asked 1,702 Brazilians aged 51 to 75 to undergo a brief physical exam, and then tracked their health over the following years.
The study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine on Wednesday, stresses that the simple test should be included during a person’s annual physical examination because it provides “useful information regarding mortality risk in men, women, middle-aged and older”.
As part of the so-called “flamingo test,” each participant was asked to stand barefoot on one leg while keeping the other leg raised in the air, as if imitating a hot pink bird. They were also asked to keep their heads erect and their arms straight at their side for 10 seconds.
Of the 1,702 participants, 20% could not complete the test.
Unsurprisingly, the test became more difficult with age. Only 5% of participants aged 51 to 55 failed the flamingo test, and the number rose to 54% for people aged 71 to 75.
The researchers found that in addition to advancing age, those who failed the test were more likely to be overweight and were three times more likely to develop diabetes.
After a median follow-up time of seven years, 7% of the participants died. Notably, 17.5% of people who failed 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 all-cause mortality” for people unable to complete the flamingo test, “even when other confounding variables such as age, gender, and BMI… are taken into account.”
“We regularly need… to be standing on one leg, to get out of the car, to go up or down a flight of stairs or stairs etc. Not having this ability or being afraid to do so is likely related to a loss of independence and, therefore, Exercise less and start snowballing,” study author Dr. Claudio Gil Araujo, of the CLINIMEX Exercise Medicine Clinic in Rio de Janeiro, told CNN.
The study attracted widespread attention on social media, with people taking to Twitter to share their thoughts.
“Pass the flamingo test easily. It looks like you stuck with me for another 7 years,” An arrogant Twitter user gloated.
However, others claimed that the test was too generalized and did not take into account a variety of nuances likely to influence the results.
“How many people with MS and so many other medical issues look at the flamingo test and laugh. A lot of us haven’t been able to do that for years and we’re still here,” Skeptic Books.
#Study #Flamingo #Test #Reveals #Die #Years