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BBCs 'Just One Thing' on Standing on One Leg... for a longer life

We love Michael Mosley in this episode. Michael helps reveal why the one leg stance is one the best thing you can do for a longer and more active life.

He speaks to Roar friend Professor Dawn Skelton at Glasgow Caledonian University, to find out what happens to your balance as you get older, why our balance is getting worse with each generation, and how regularly making yourself wobble could help improve your body and your brain.


Listen here (it's only 15 minutes!):


What does he discuss?

Why you should stand on one leg

Our balance is far worse than it used to be. Where once we’d be spending much of the day moving about, many of us now sit staring at computer screens. This more sedentary lifestyle affects our balance skills and comes at a cost. The biggest cause of accidental deaths worldwide, after car crashes, are falls – which are a failure of balance. The good news is there are things you can do to improve it. In his podcast, Just One Thing, Michael Mosley reveals how standing on one leg can help improve your body and brain and could even predict how long you’ll live.


Stand on one leg for a longer life

You spend far more of your life in a one-leg stance than you could imagine – 40% of your walk is spent on one leg, but that’s not the only reason why standing on one leg is more important than you might think. It has been shown that how well you can stand on one leg can be a powerful predictor of how long you will live and how healthy you will be. In 1999, researchers did three simple tests on 2,760 men and women in their 50s. They measured grip, counted how often they could stand upright from sitting in a minute, and timed how long the volunteers could stand on one leg with their eyes closed.

When they revisited the people 13 years later, they found performance in all three tests was a predictor of how likely it was a person would die from cancer or a heart attack. But the one-legged standing test came out on top. Those who stood for two seconds or less on the earlier test were three times more likely to have died over the next 13 years than those who managed ten seconds or more. So it might be time to get working on that balance if you want to keep active well into old age!