Without holding onto anything, how long can you stand on a single leg? Be sure to repeat with the opposite leg, because one might be stronger than the other. The 2014 article in Stroke found that people who couldn’t hold for longer than 20 seconds were more likely to have cerebral small-vessel disease, which occurs when the blood vessels in your brain become obstructed from inflammation or a buildup of plaques. The one-leg standing test was also associated with people who had mini-strokes, microbleeds in the brain, and impaired cognitive function.
The one-leg standing test is also an indicator of your longevity, according to a 2022 study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. The researchers used the one-leg standing test for people aged 51 to 75, finding that 20% of them couldn’t stand on a single leg for 10 seconds. Those who couldn’t do the one-leg standing test for 10 seconds had an 84% higher risk of all-cause mortality than those who could stand successfully for 10 seconds. The study suggested the one-leg standing test is a good exam for people in middle age and older.