Balancing on one leg should be included in mid-life health check-ups, researchers have said.

As reported by Sky News researchers have suggested that the ‘flamingo test’ is incorporated into mid-life health checks as a simple way to gauge longevity.

People over 50 who are unable to stand on one leg for 10 seconds are at double the risk of dying in the next decade, the study found.

The global study team, including experts from Bristol Medical School, tracked 1,702 participants, aged 51 to 75, from Brazil between 2009 and 2020.

They were asked to place the front of the lifted foot on the back of the opposite lower leg, keeping their arms by their sides and their gaze fixed straight ahead.

Sky News reported: "To standardise the assessment, people were asked to take off their shoes and socks and place the front of the free foot on the back of the opposite lower leg, while keeping their arms by their sides and their gaze fixed straight ahead."

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Balancing one one leg could provide an indication about longevity (Canva)Balancing one one leg could provide an indication about longevity (Canva)

Each participant got three attempts at the test.

One in five people (20%) failed to pass the test, with the inability to do so rising with age.

People who failed the test were more likely to be older, be overweight and more likely to have a diagnosis of diabetes.

The study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, tracked participants over a number of years.

Follow-ups were taken with participants at an average of seven years later, in which 123 people had died or 7% of the people.

Some 17.5% of people who failed the test were among those who had died, compared to 4.6% of those who passed.

After accounting for various factors, the researchers concluded that an inability to stand unsupported on one leg for 10 seconds was associated with an 84% increased risk of death during the follow-up period.