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This 10-second test could measure your risk of death, study says

Published Jun 26th, 2022 12:21AM EDT
balance test could measure risk of death
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Scientists may have found a way to measure your risk of death. A new study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine posits that a 10-second balance test could help measure your overall risk of dying.

A 10-second test may be able to measure your risk of death

woman training balance
Balance can play a key part in your overall health. Image source: Amazon

The study was conducted by several scientists using a pool of 1,702 people aged between 51 to 75 years. They examined data about the participants taken between 2008 and 2020 and measured how well they could perform a 10-second one-legged balance test. The results, they say, could allow doctors to better measure your risk of death.

The 10-second test requires the participant to stand on one leg, with the free leg resting on the back of the standing leg. They then place their hands at their side and try to stay still. During the study, the participants were given three chances to complete the balance test. Around 20 percent were unable to complete the test. The number of people unable to complete it also increased with age.

Five percent of participants between 51 and 55 failed, while 8 percent between 56 and 60 failed. From there, 18 percent of people aged 61 to 65 failed, and then 37 percent of those 66 to 70 years of age failed. Finally, 54 percent of people between 71 and 75 years of age failed the test to measure their risk of death.

Measuring mortality

Doctor in a face mask with microscopeImage source: JHDT Productions/Adobe

The researchers found that most who failed the balance test tended to have higher body weights, or suffered from cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes, or high cholesterol. Additionally, after they adjusted the findings for age, sex, and existing health conditions, the scientists believe those who failed had an 84 percent increased risk of death over the next seven years.

But how does it work? These findings are intriguing, to say the least. However, it is important to look at the wider picture that the doctors were painting here. This balance test may be able to measure your risk of death. However, it isn’t a way to prevent heart disease, diabetes, or any other diseases. It’s simply an “all-cause mortality” test.

Balance is an important aspect of our body. And many doctors believe that balance can be a good indicator of how healthy a person is. Since the test only takes 10 seconds to complete it isn’t a bad way to measure the possible risk of death. However, it also isn’t going to tell you any in-depth information about your risk of any diseases or other issues.

As such, the researchers are pushing for the balance test to be added to regular doctor visits. Alongside the other tests we run, it could increase the chance of catching diseases or issues before they advance. There are, of course, other things you can do to reduce your risk of death, like watching less TV each day.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.