Did you know your ability to balance and your mortality are connected? Without meaning to be hyperbolic, let’s put it another way – Balance is a key indicator of your fitness level. A recent study concluded that a 10-second one-legged stance test was of great benefit in determining a person’s overall fitness level.

Properly Balanced

The study, which began in 2008, assessed over 1,700 people aged 51-75 on whether they could balance while standing on one leg for 10 seconds or longer. The study continued with follow-ups every 7 years. Participants who couldn’t perform the test were nearly four times more likely to suffer from ailments like heart attacks, strokes, cancer, and more.

“Poor anaerobic fitness, which is associated with a sedentary lifestyle, ‘is the background of most cases of frailty,’ says research director Dr. Claudio Araújo, which in turn is associated with poor quality of life, less activity and exercise, and so on.“

Low aerobic fitness has always been a marker of poor health. However, the study has shown 3 components of anaerobic exercise – balance, flexibility, and muscle strength.- are relevant for good health.

The other outcome? Many of the study’s participants were unaware they couldn’t sustain one-legged balance for more than 10 seconds, and were much more prone to engage in balance training afterward.

Try Your Own Standing Test!

Balance on one leg and place the other foot at the back weight-bearing limb for support. Hold.

Did you make a full 10 seconds?

If not, give yourself a bit of a break. You get 3 tries to maintain the posture for at least 10 seconds.

How did it go? Did you find yourself wobbling? Did each try get harder or easier? Are you better #PREPARED to be conscientious of your balance going forward?


Balance Requires Practice

Now that you have a better idea of your balancing ability, what can you do to improve your result? Start with Work Right’s Instagram Story on balance and flexibility! Work Right’s Tori Meyer walks through some balance and flexibility exercises you can do on your own.

*Want another test of balance and fitness?*
Try the Sitting-Rising Test (SRT)


1) Start from a standing position.

2) Lower yourself to the floor, crisscross style, then stand back up WITHOUT SUPPORT.

3) Starting with 10 points (5 for sitting, 5 for standing), use the following key to score yourself. The higher the score, the better your odds are.

Hand used for support: -1 point
Knee used for support: -1 point
Forearm used for support: -1 point
One hand on knee or thigh: -1 point
Side of leg used for support: -1 point

Be sure to check out our other blogs for further injury prevention education and tips from Work Right NW!