MD Podiatrist Discusses Study That Correlates Balance to Mortality Rate

Interestingly, according to a new study, the ability to balance for 10 seconds on one foot may predict life expectancy. Results showed that those who failed the test were twice as likely to die in the next 10 years. Dan Michaels, DPM, a board-certified podiatrist explains, “There is also a link between balance and cognitive function, as the body’s ability to receive input from the environment is translated in the brain to allow the body to stabilize itself. If this ability is compromised, cognition can suffer as well. All of these factors can increase mortality rate."

 

This study provides very useful information as it highlights the need for better evaluation of balance, especially in older adults. Factors such as overly cushioned footwear, lack of sensory input and lack of ground purchase of the foot due to deformities such as bunions all contribute to poor balance, Dr. Michaels states. These are easily treatable when identified, and there are simple ways for at-risk individuals to improve their single leg balance with specific exercises and lifestyle habits.

Author
The Reconstructive Foot & Ankle Institute, LLC Team

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