Don’t think you spend much time balancing on one leg? Well, did you know that when you’re walking, you’re actually spending three-quarters of your time with just one leg in contact with the ground?
That’s right, your ability to control your body on just one leg is pretty important. And when you add the challenge of talking on the phone, balancing a child on your hip or breaking into a jog, the skill of balance becomes even more important in avoiding injuries, falls and embarrassment.
As physios, we spend a lot of time trying to train this skill. That’s why as a profession, we’re trying to raise awareness in our communities about the importance of balance. And what better way to know how your balance is than to test it? The average person can balance on one leg for 33.4 seconds. So right now, stop reading this post, stand up, get your stopwatch out and time yourself.
How did you go?
If you’re really good at balancing on one leg you’re probably still reading this as you keep your balance. Too easy. Good on you. But the world record for one leg balance is 76 hours and 40 minutes so you still have a little way to go.
You won’t be surprised to learn though that you don’t really need 76 hours of one leg balance. What you do need is balance sufficient to what your individual requirements are. If you’re a casual walker, you need some decent balance to avoid injuries and falls (and the odd cyclist who might swing by). If you’re a footy player or a netballer, you’ll need some better balance to land on one leg, take off and change direction.
A great way of getting a better feel for where your balance is at is to progress through the ‘difficult dozen’ at oneleg.physio. In trying these different challenges, you’ll get a better understanding of all the factors that contribute to your balance (muscle strength, concentration, environment etc.) There are some pretty difficult ones there so make sure the exercises are safe for you, if in doubt just give us a call (see below). Once you find your limit and discover more about how your balance works, feel free to post your successes at #onelegphysio so others can be inspired to develop their balance skills, boost their sporting performance and decrease their risk of injury as well.
For specific concerns about your balance and individualised exercises, speak to your physio by booking an appointment on (08) 9364 4073. We have a whole range of strategies and exercises that can be really helpful in developing brilliant balance and would love to see everyone in our community that little bit more comfortable on one leg!