Gransnet forums


How long can you stand on one leg?

(78 Posts)
Glorianny Mon 27-Jun-22 19:07:31

There's some research out now that says the ability to stand on one leg can predict how long you live.
Researchers examined 1,702 people aged 51 to 75 years old between 2008 and 2020 on their ability to perform a 10-second one-legged stance. Participants were asked to stand on one leg with the free leg rested on the back of the standing leg and arms at their sides. They were allowed three chances to complete the balance task.
So can you do it? I can't manage 10, but I'm over 75.

V3ra Mon 27-Jun-22 22:23:04

I managed 1 minute 45 seconds on my right leg, 2 minutes on my left leg. I'm 65.
Does it matter if you have shoes on or are barefoot? I had my shoes on.

V3ra Mon 27-Jun-22 22:28:26


I can do several minutes with my eyes open. It’s seconds with them closed, though.

Crikey yes, what a difference! 10 seconds on my right leg and 11 seconds on my left leg with my eyes shut ?

Squiffy Mon 27-Jun-22 22:46:27

Maw You have to lift both legs up for it to work!

CanadianGran Mon 27-Jun-22 22:57:02

I didn't see that the test was with eyes closed, it's eyes open.

For those that have bad balance, please look at starting yoga practice. It doesn't need to be costly classes, it can be at home either found in a book or on-line. It really is wonderful for body and mind.

Zonne Mon 27-Jun-22 23:10:12


I didn't see that the test was with eyes closed, it's eyes open.

For those that have bad balance, please look at starting yoga practice. It doesn't need to be costly classes, it can be at home either found in a book or on-line. It really is wonderful for body and mind.

It’s eyes closed, I’m afraid (my bold in this quote)

‘The study by the Medical Research Council tracked 5,000 people born in 1946 throughout their lives. Aged 53 they completed the tests during home visits from specially trained nurses. In the standing on one leg with eyes closed test, men and women were able to hold the position for less than two seconds were three times more likely to die before the age of 66 than those who could hold it for 10 seconds or more.’

Drawinggran Tue 28-Jun-22 06:35:43

I couldn’t make 3 until I started to practice, now, 6 months on,I’m 60 seconds and 10 with eyes closed. Honestly, it’s very much a learned thing and with practice improvements come, which is encouraging.

Mollygo Tue 28-Jun-22 08:39:14

I started practising during Aquafit. Water is a wonderful support. I’m getting better on dry land now as well.

Witzend Tue 28-Jun-22 08:46:53

Stopped at 30 with both, couldn't BB with any more, just a mite wobbly, but very little difference between them.
I’m 73.

HowVeryDareYou Tue 28-Jun-22 08:48:47

18 seconds on one leg, 12 on the other. I'm 63 and had a stroke 11 months ago

Cs783 Tue 28-Jun-22 09:05:45

I started following fitness videos during lockdown and discovered that Australian physical activity guidelines for people 65+ cover balance as well as stamina, strength, suppleness. Thanks, Schellea (my fabulous 50s guide) sunshine

nandad Tue 28-Jun-22 09:14:55

With eyes closed 1 second on left leg, 3 seconds on right. Just turned 60.
Can manage over 2 minutes with either leg and eyes open, which I think is more practical as you can then see what you’re about to hit as you fall!

nanna8 Tue 28-Jun-22 09:24:42

With eyes open, ages, got bored. With eyes shut about 20 secs on right leg, 10 on lathe left. Funny how eyes open makes a difference. I’m 74

travelsafar Tue 28-Jun-22 10:54:08

I do this each morning and evening whilst cleaning my teeth. It helps that the sink is in front of me which i could grab if i felt i was going to fall. I do it 6 times on each side in 10 second bursts.

greenlady102 Tue 28-Jun-22 11:41:22

Iam curious about the vslidity if this in folk with leg injuries. Both my knees are trashed from dig walking when I went thigh deep in a bog and it definitelyvaffects myvability to stand on one leg but I can't see how knee injuries predict my age at death.?

Zonne Tue 28-Jun-22 12:11:38

I think, greenlady102, that this was a purely observational test, and didn't establish cause. But given than falls are one of the main causes of death in older people, it makes sense to do what one can to avoid them, I guess.

I found this from Michael Moseley which is a slightly different take:

A good test of your balance is to see how long you can stand on one leg, first with your eyes open and then closed. Take your shoes off, put your hands on your hips and stand on one leg. See how long you last. The test is over as soon as you shift your planted foot or put your raised foot down on the ground. Best of three. Then repeat, with your eyes closed. You will be dismayed by how quickly you start to fall over. Here are the targets that different age groups should be able to manage:

Under 40: 45 seconds with eyes open, 15 seconds with eyes closed.
Aged 40-49: 42 seconds open, 13 seconds closed.
Aged 50-59: 41 seconds open, 8 seconds closed.
Aged 60-69: 32 seconds open, 4 seconds closed.
Aged 70-79: 22 seconds open, 3 seconds closed.

LittlebrookLyn Tue 28-Jun-22 12:21:42

I can balance with my eyes open for so long I got bored doing it, although I always stand on one leg when I brush my teeth, so maybe that's why. Closing my eyes more like 3 seconds! I also hula hoop for 20mins every day, not sure if that makes your core stronger.

Davida1968 Tue 28-Jun-22 12:29:18

I'm great on one leg...

bevisp1 Tue 28-Jun-22 12:35:15

I saw this article in the paper, so I had to try it, and yes ‘I passed’ the 10 seconds count. Wonder how long I’ll live for ;)

GagaJo Tue 28-Jun-22 12:45:57

I could do it indefinitely on my left leg but less so on right (foot injury). I managed a lot less and was very wobbly with eyes closed though.

123kitty Tue 28-Jun-22 12:46:08

2 mins in morning on right leg - only stopping as my electric toothbrush finishes its cycle, so no idea how long I could maintain my balance. Repeat in the evening on my left leg. I must admit to years of yoga so maybe it's down to all those years of practise (73)

yogitree Tue 28-Jun-22 12:51:15

I've had 2 hip replacements and have muscle atrophy, I'm 67 and can't even do it for 1 second! I am a regular at Yoga, but despite that guess I'm about to pop my clogs!

TillyTrotter Tue 28-Jun-22 13:18:17

My DS suffers similarly to you yogitree . She had only 1 hip replaced (5 years ago) and it has left her all twisted on the one side so she will not consider having the other replaced. ?

TillyTrotter Tue 28-Jun-22 13:18:28

That is sister, not son.

CBBL Tue 28-Jun-22 13:23:44

20 seconds on right leg - 15 on the left. Both slightly wobbly, but better with concentration.

I'm 74, will be 75 in a matter of weeks, and I haven't practiced in ages (I used to do Yoga in my 40's).

PamelaJ1 Tue 28-Jun-22 13:24:58

Long enough to know that, apparently, I will live forever,