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Easy 10-second test shows ‘how long you’ll live’ for

Easy 10-second test shows ‘how long you’ll live’ for

It's actually a test you can do yourself at home, without any specialist equipment

We all dream that we'll live long, fruitful lives filled with happiness, health and Taylor Swift Eras Tour tickets.

But in reality, we know it may not work out quite like that... partly because those tour tickets are like actual gold dust, and very pricey gold dust at that.

But while it's impossible to fully predict how things will pan out, scientists have managed to find a way that might help give us an idea.

A couple of years ago, a team of researchers based in Brazil put together something that could help you tell how long you've got left.

Published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, the research honed in on one of the leading causes of injury-related death in the world - falls.

So how do you test for this?

Well, you find a way to look into someone's balance and muscle strength, which is exactly what the team of scientists did.

In their study, they wrote: "Balance quickly diminishes after the mid-50s, increasing the risk for falls and other adverse health outcomes."

The researchers put together something that could help you tell how long you've got left (Rawlstock/Getty Images)
The researchers put together something that could help you tell how long you've got left (Rawlstock/Getty Images)

Their aim was to see whether someone's ability to complete a simple test based on balance and strength could help add 'relevant prognostic information beyond ordinary demographic, anthropometric and clinical data'.

And what exactly did that test involve? Swanky gym equipment with lots of beeps and flashing lights?

Well no, not quite.

Instead, they just asked people to stand on one leg for 10 seconds.

The study was led by Dr Claudio Gil Araujo, from CLINIMEX, who said: “Our study indicates that the inability to complete a 10-second one-legged stance (OLS) in middle-aged and older participants is related to a higher risk of all-cause mortality and, consequently, to a shorter life expectancy.

“Ageing is associated with a progressive decline in physical fitness and reductions or impairments in components of aerobic and non-aerobic fitness, including muscle strength, power, flexibility, balance and body composition."

If you can't balance on one leg for 10 seconds, you might have more difficulty later in life - when a fall that someone might shrug off in their 40s could be a much more serious health concern.

It's a simple test you can do at home (microgen/Getty)
It's a simple test you can do at home (microgen/Getty)

Araujo continued: “It is also well-established that the combination of sarcopenic obesity and loss of flexibility and balance are detrimental for overall health, placing older adults with frailty more prone to falls and other serious adverse medical [consequences].

“Indeed, falls are the second leading cause of unintentional injury-based deaths worldwide.

“Unlike aerobic fitness, muscle strength and flexibility, balance tends to be reasonably preserved until the sixth decade of life, when comparatively, it starts to diminish quickly.

“Nevertheless, balance assessment is not routinely incorporated in the clinical examination of middle-aged and older individuals.”

So there you go. Your sense of balance could be an indicator of how vulnerable you are to falls in later life.

It only works for one particular cause of death, and that's not even the most common cause of death.

The top two causes of death remain heart disease and cancer, with respiratory problems coming next, followed by Covid.

The study's authors hope that it will encourage doctors to use the test during routine checkups as a way to assess a patient's risk of falling later in life.

Featured Image Credit: Getty Stock Images

Topics: Health, Science