I wondered if this really is connected to the topics of my site, but it's interesting, it's fun and you do need a bit of physical fitness to try it.
A Bit Of Balancing
Researchers from Japan's Kyoto University asked more than 1,300 people to stand on one leg and recorded how long everyone managed to do so.
Then they did brain scans via MRI and checked cognitive function via a computerized psychological test.
An interesting connection became apparent: people who managed to stand on one leg for less than 20 seconds had an increased risk for small blood vessel damage and reduced cognitive ability.
Silent Brain Damage
And that was before they showed any obvious brain trouble like an abnormal gait.
Those who already had had microbleedings (ruptures in the brain's fine blood vessels) or " silent strokes" (strokes with no outward symptoms) did worst:
- 34.5% of those with two or more silent strokes had problems balancing
- 16% of those with one silent stroke
- 30% with two or more microbleeds
- And 15.4% who suffered from one microbleed
Other researchers already suspected that those microbleeds are the main culprits behind cognitive decline and dementia.
Go ahead and try it out. Stand up, raise one leg, don't close your eyes and have a clock or watch where you can read the seconds.
Of course, make sure you have something to hold on to, just in case you too have trouble balancing. In the short-term a broken leg is worse than the future possibility of suffering a stroke.
Picture courtesy of "lululemon".