tj maxx polo ralph lauren leg balance skill can warn of injury risk
Older adults unable to balance on one foot for 5 seconds were more than twice as likely to be injured in a fall over the next three years compared with those who could balance for more than 5 seconds, in a study at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. Poor one legged balance may also predict injury risk in young people. The risk of ankle sprain was more than double among high school and college athletes who couldn’t maintain one legged balance with their eyes closed, researchers at the University of Connecticut and Indiana University reported.
To test yourself, take off your shoes and socks and stand straight with your arms folded across your chest. Raise one foot, bending the knee about 45 degrees, and start a stopwatch. Stop timing the moment you lose balance and have to uncross your arms, move the leg you are standing on, or touch the raised foot to the floor. If this seems too easy, close your eyes before starting the stopwatch (but do it standing next to a solid counter or piece of furniture to grab if you start to fall). The following table lists the average balance times by age group in a study of 549 women and men tested at Walter Reed Army Medical Center:
If your balance skill is below average, you can decrease your risk of falls and injuries by committing to an exercise program to build strength and balance, such as tai chi or yoga. Work with a trusted medical caregiver or certified athletic trainer to make sure the exercise routine fits your physical abilities. Keep in mind that poor balance can be a sign of serious illness, adverse reaction to medications, and other problems that a doctor should diagnose and treat. For more on preventing falls, read the updated guidelines from the American Geriatrics Society.