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Top 3 Self-Tests for Balance

1. Single Leg Balance Test

 

 

To perform this test, stand near a wall or sturdy object in case you must catch yourself. When ready, place your arms across your chest, focus your eyes on a spot on the wall in front of you, and raise one leg off the ground. Maintain your balance as long as possible up to 45 seconds without uncrossing your arms, shifting the stance leg, or moving the raised leg excessively. Repeat the test with eyes closed as well, this will be significantly more difficult. Take the best of 3 attempts as your final score.

 

  • Age Based Norms – 18-49; Eyes open: 40 sec, Eyes closed: 7 sec; 50-59; Eyes open: 37 sec, Eyes closed: 5 sec; 60-69; Eyes open: 27 sec, Eyes closed: 3 sec; 70-79; Eyes open: 15 sec, Eyes closed: 2 sec; 80-99; Eyes open: 6 seconds, Eyes closed: 1 second
  • Negative test: Able to maintain balance with eyes open without uncrossing arms from chest or shifting stance foot.
  • Positive test:  Unable to maintain balance without uncrossing arms or excessive stance or raised leg movements.
  • What does a positive test mean?
    • A positive test indicates a lack of balance which could be caused by muscle weakness, lack of proprioception (awareness of body within space), or vestibular issues. Poor balance increases risk of falls and can indicate deficits in lower limb and foot muscle activation.

 

 

2. 30 Second Sit to Stand Test

Start by sitting in a firm chair, ideally without armrests. Set a timer for 30 seconds. When ready, start the timer and count how many times you are able to fully stand up and sit back down without using your arms for assistance. Below is a table that shows how many sit to stands you should be able to do based on your age and gender to maintain physical independence.

 

         60-64     65-69     70-74     75-79     80-84     85-89     90-94
Women           15        15        14       13        12        11        9
Men           17        16        15       14        13        11        9

3. TUG (Timed Up and Go) Test

For this test you will need a firm chair, ideally without armrests, a cone or similar object, and a stopwatch. Place the chair so there is ample open space in front of the chair. From the chair, measure 10 feet in front of the chair and place the cone in that spot. The test will start with you sitting in the chair. You will time how long it takes you to stand up from the chair, walk around the cone and back to the chair, and return to sitting. For community dwelling adults, a time greater than 13.5 seconds indicates an increased risk for falls. 

 

Are you looking for more information and someone to tell you what is going on with your balance? Come in for a free screen with one of our therapists.

It’s a 30 minute 1-on-1 appointment with a Physical Therapist where you get the following…

1. A DIAGNOSIS: Discover the cause of your pain so that you can attack the problem successfully.

2. A PROGNOSIS: Find out how long it will take to fix your back pain for good so you can get back to all the activities you used to do before your injury.

3. A PLAN: Your Physical Therapist will lay out a clear plan that outlines what will be required to get you back to normal.

All you need to do to get started is to call (610) 839 – 8764 and pick your time and location. We look forward to meeting you and getting you back to normal!

Read this next:

Top 3 Causes for A Balance Dysfunction 

Top 3 Exercises for A Balance Dysfunction 

Top 3 Stretches for A Balance Dysfunction 

Self Tests To Find Out If You Have A Balance Dysfunction 

Behavior Modifications for A Balance Dysfunction 

Quiz for Balance Dysfunctions 

FAQs About Balance Dysfunctions 

Robbins Rehabilitation West