The GuardianThe Guardian

Can you stand on one leg for 10 seconds? Why balance could be a matter of life and death – and how to improve yours

By Joel Snape

02 Nov 2022 · 8 min read

Editor's Note

Studies have found that poor balance can be linked to an array of serious health conditions. The Guardian reports on ways that you can improve your balance, before any problems start to arise.

Until we start to lose our balance, we barely notice that it’s there at all. “It starts for a lot of people with simple stuff,” says Dr Anna Lowe, an expert on healthy ageing and physical activity. “Maybe you used to be able to quickly stand on one leg to put a shoe on, and you’ve stopped doing that at some point. Maybe you used to get out of the bath on to a slippery floor without thinking, and now you have to hold on to something. It’s easy to either miss the signs or just put it down to ageing – but it really is something you can affect.”

The key, it is increasingly becoming clear, is to address the decline before it gets serious: and that can happen earlier than you might think.

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