Improving balance and being more steady on your feet is just one of the ways Pilates can help you. In my classes we practice standing exercises every week, many of which challenge balance whatever your ability or age.
Here is a way to measure your balance. It’s a test based on a U.S study published in the Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy. The researchers measured how long on average different age groups could balance on one leg.
- Stand in front of sturdy chair or work surface incase you need to steady yourself
- Stand in view of a clock with a second hand or borrow a friend with a stopwatch
- Place your hands onto your hips
- Lift one leg off the floor and start timing
- Stop the clock when your raised foot touches the floor, your raised leg touches the other leg or you have to lift your arms off your hips to steady yourself
Harder option – close your eyes
Compare your results with what’s considered ‘normal’ for your age group. The times in brackets are for eyes closed.
Under 40: 45 sec (15 sec)
40 – 49: 42 sec (13 sec)
50 – 59: 41 sec (8 sec)
60 – 69: 32 sec (4 sec)
70 – 79: 22 sec (3 sec)
80 – 99: 9 sec (2 sec)