A curious research, apparently without reason, says it has found a way to know the probability of a person dying early.
Published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, the study carried out by Brazilian researchers from the Clinic of Exercise Medicine Clinimex, in Rio de Janeiro, states that a middle-aged adult is twice as likely to die in the next decade if he cannot balance himself one leg for 10 seconds.
How was the test performed?
The analysis relied on data from 1,702 Brazilian participants aged between 51 and 75 years.
To ensure that all participants took the test in the same way, they were asked to place the front of one foot on the back of the opposite leg, keeping their arms at their sides and their gaze fixed ahead.
The researchers also collected data on weight, waist size and blood pressure.
According to the researchers, those who failed the test were 84% more likely to die. They also tended to have more health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.
On the other hand, the study suggests that the ability to balance with a single foot on the ground points to a longer life expectancy.
The study’s lead author and sports and exercise physician Claudio Gil Soares de Araújo said poor balance is linked to frailty in the elderly and musculoskeletal fitness is a prime indicator of declining health.
The research notes that the ability to maintain balance begins to decline relatively quickly after age 60.
Follow-up of participants
During an average follow-up period of seven years, 123 (7%) people died. According to the study, 32% were victims of cancer; 30% died from cardiovascular disease; 9% due to respiratory disease and 7% due to complications from covid-19.
According to the scientists, the death rate was almost four times higher during this period among individuals who failed the test: 17.5%, compared to 4.6% who completed it.
However, after adjusting the survey for factors that could confound the result, such as age, sex, and underlying health conditions, those unable to go unsupported on one leg for 10 seconds were 84% more likely to die of any cause in the next. decade.
For the authors, the so-called ‘flamingo test’ could be used in routine health checks for the elderly to provide ‘useful information’ about the risk of death.