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Fitness & Health

23rd Jun 2022

‘Flamingo test’ reveals your likelihood of dying within 7 years

Kieran Galpin


20 per cent of participants were unable to complete it

A new study exploring the “flamingo test” has revealed how people are at a higher risk of dying within seven years if unable to complete the simple task for a matter of seconds.

Researchers in Brazil surveyed 1,702 people between the ages of 51 and 75 who underwent a physical examination before being tracked over the subsequent years.

The study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine on Wednesday, revealed that middle-aged people who cannot balance on one leg for 10 seconds are at a dramatically increased risk of dying within seven years.

Researchers suggested the test should be included in routine examinations as it gives “useful information regarding mortality risk in middle-aged and older men and women”.

But what is the flamingo test?

Participants were asked to stand barefoot on one leg while keeping their other leg raised. Essentially, do your best flamingo impression.

They were required to keep their head upright and their arms straight for just 10-seconds.

While the test sounds simple, 20 per cent of participants were unable to complete it.

As expected, the task became increasingly difficult as participants got older, with 54 per cent of people between the ages of 71 and 75 failing. In contrast, only 5 per cent of the people between the ages of 51 and 55 failed.

@thatbrachick #question from @thatbrachick the ? test #fypシ #flamingotest #AmazonMusicProudHeroes #ItsGreatOutdoors ♬ Theme From Jeopardy! – Think Music – TV Sounds Unlimited

The average follow-up time was around seven years, at which point 7 per cent of the participants had died. The team found that 17.5 per cent of people who failed the test were among the dead, compared with the 5 per cent who passed.

Researchers were able to determine that there was an “84 per cent higher risk of all-cause mortality” for people unable to complete the task even when variables like age and sex were factored in.

@cara.morann??♬ original sound – You’re mine now heheheheh??

The test has made a splash online thanks to its simplicity, and people are sharing their death expectancy on TikTok.

The story was even shared on Good Morning Britain, where host Richard Madeley found out he should be fine for the next seven years.

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