There’s a lot of talk surrounding work-life balance, being emotionally balanced, and well-balanced diets— but what about actual balance? You know, the physical ability to be able to distribute your weight so that you can recover from tripping or being jostled and stand or move without toppling over.
Keeping an eye on your balance is an important part of monitoring your health, as it can be a telling indication of various health problems, particularly stroke risk. Maintaining balance should also become more of a priority as you age, since the risk of falling and being seriously injured from a fall increase.
If you want to test how good your balance is, certified personal trainer and TikTok star Justin Agustin shares a simple and quick way to figure out where your balance skills are on a scale of “Below Average” to “Excellent.”
How to test your balance
First things first, make sure you’re standing in a safe space (away from glass tables, sharp furniture, or anything breakable) with some light cushioning, such as a yoga mat. If you’re not very confident in your balance, then ask a trusted friend or family member to spot you.
Once you’re well situated, you can begin. Start by standing on one leg, then cross your arms across your chest and close your eyes. You can count the seconds you remain upright, or better yet, set up a timer. “Try to remain in this position for as long as possible, without dropping your foot, without uncrossing your arms, and, of course, without opening your eyes,” says Agustin.
“If you can last for over 30 seconds, you can probably last for a very long time,” he adds. “That means you have excellent balance.”
If you can’t make it to the 30-second mark, then here is the range, for reference:
- <5 seconds: below average
- 10 seconds: average
- 15 seconds: above average
- 20 seconds: very good
- 25 seconds: great
- >30 seconds: excellent
Now, if you’re on the lower end of the spectrum, don’t worry. There are plenty of ways to improve your score, such as sticking to a regular yoga practice, working on your core stability, and taking walks.