Try to stand on one leg for 20 seconds without losing balance. Studies show that being able to stand on one leg is a sign of physical health, and that improving standing on one leg can add fitness and extend our lives — two equally important components, Walla says.
The ability to stand on one leg is associated with increased levels of physical activity and is therefore linked to good health.
The inability to balance on one leg for 20 seconds or more is linked, among other things, to an increased risk of damage to the small blood vessels in the brain and a decreased ability to comprehend thoughts.
It is unlikely that you will be able to stand on one leg without falling or leaning on something if you have a number of medical conditions such as Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s disease. Pregnancy, menopause and various diseases can also alter the balance and impair your ability to stay erect.
A study conducted by Kyoto University in Japan found that the inability to maintain balance with one foot in the air may indicate a risk of stroke and dementia.
The results of the study, published in the journal Stroke, showed that about 50 percent of people who have had heart attacks in the past and 30 percent of those who have experienced a small brain hemorrhage that could eventually lead to a stroke find it difficult to maintain balance.
Additionally, people who had difficulty maintaining balance on one leg showed impaired thinking and memory abilities.
Why is it important to stand on one leg?
When we stand on one foot, we are usually unstable, as the human body has a relatively small base of support for our height and breadth.
When we are healthy, we rely on our central and peripheral nervous system to integrate all the information from our sense of balance (eyes, inner ear, reflexes from muscles and joints). Then we use the right muscles (legs, ankles, calves, core, and sometimes arm muscles) at the right time to make the necessary adjustments to our posture to stay erect.
Standing on each leg for one minute three times daily, according to research evidence, can help improve the mineral density of the femur. A stronger thigh means preventing fractures in this area at a later age.
And it’s not really surprising, that the more physically active we are, the more likely we are to have better balance when standing on one leg, in our mind and in life in general.
Important note about medical information