'Flamingo test' study reveals your chances of living longer life: Study

Participants had to stand on one leg while keeping their head upright and arms straight by their side for 10 seconds.

Postmedia News 2 minute read 2 days ago

Are you middle-aged and unable to stand on one leg for 10 seconds?

Well, a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine has some potentially bad news for you.

According to the study completed by researchers in Brazil, middle-aged people who can’t do the “flamingo test” for 10 seconds are at an increased risk of dying within seven years

The study is a result of testing — participants had to stand on one leg while keeping their head upright and arms straight by their side — of 1,702 Brazilians between the ages of 51 and 75 then tracking their health for, on average, seven years.

Authored by Dr. Claudio Gil Araujo of the Exercise Medicine Clinic CLINIMEX in Rio de Janeiro, the study showed that 20% of participants were unable to complete the balance test, according to the New York Post.

Not surprisingly, the results got worse among older participants because balance gets worse as we age. Just 5% of people between the ages of 51 and 55 failed the test, compared with 54% of those aged 71-75.

After an average of seven years, 7% of the participants had died, including 17.5% of those who had failed the test. Of those who passed the test, just 5% had died.

Researchers concluded that there was an “84% higher risk of all-cause mortality” for those who are unable to complete the flamingo test.

“We regularly need … a one-legged posture, to move out of a car, to climb or to descend a step or stair and so on,” Araujo told CNN. “To not have this ability or being afraid in doing so, it is likely related to loss of autonomy and, in consequence, less exercise and the snowball starts.”

The study also suggested people who failed the test were more likely to be overweight and three times likely to have diabetes.