Balance Assessment

Balance – this isn’t “work-life” balance, but physical balance.

Remember doing fun balance play as a child such as walking along a curb, a crack in the sidewalk, or even better – a log or board? When is the last time you had fun with a Balance activity?

A Question of Balance:

  • When was the last time you tripped over something? Stubbed your toe on something? Miss-judged a step? — Did you catch yourself?
  • When was the last time you really stretched to reach for something, extending over your “comfortable” center-of-balance?
  • Do you have cats, dogs, children, or any other small and fast-moving objects in your home?

Balance can start to decrease in middle-age, and older adults with reduced balance ability are at greater risk of falling.

More than 1/3 of adults over the age of 65 fall each year in the US.

If you are an older adult, I urge you to see out one of the many Balance Class or Fall Prevention Programs that are available in your area.

I know that my balance could be better, and because I have never really felt confident in my ability – I usually feel uncomfortable doing balance activities. This becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy because I’m increasing my risk of falling by not working on my balance!

Standing Stork Test

Stork Balance
Hint: next time don’t stand on a concrete seam!

Assesses: Static Balance for a timed measurement (Static Balance = standing still as opposed to a Dynamic Balance with movement, such as walking a balance beam)

Program: Multiple testing programs have used this test, but the majority of them test younger adults & athletes. The measurements are typically used to define improvement in an individual, not to compare results to a similar population. To increase the difficulty of this test, the participant should close their eyes.

Purpose: This is an easy to demonstrate measurement of balance, a more dynamic test would be more appropriate for measuring my physical fitness, but they tend to be more difficult to show in a video format.

Score: Left leg was “Poor”, Right leg was “Average”

Cautions / Contraindications

Please do not do these assessments at home without proper instruction: seek the guidance of a medical professional or personal trainer who is trained in administering these tests. Certain movements are not safe for individuals with specific conditions.

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