Protocol - Balance
The One Leg Stand from the Health, Aging and Body Composition (Health ABC) Study is an examiner-administered test to evaluate a persons balance. A technician asks the participant to maintain his/her balance by standing on one foot as long as possible, up to 30 seconds. The participant may choose which foot to stand on. One or two trials are attempted, depending on the participants willingness and how long he/she can maintain his/her balance.
A technician provides instructions, follows a script, demonstrates how to perform the test, uses a stopwatch to time the person, and enters the result on a form. Results are entered to the hundredth of a second.
Portions of this protocol that are specific to the Health ABC study have been removed to avoid confusion.
This protocol has been validated in individuals 70 years and older; the Skin, Bone, Muscle and Joint Working Group suggests that it may also be used in people in their 60s.
The Skin, Bone, Muscle and Joint Working Group recommends that the participant complete the One Leg Stand with their eyes open.
One Leg Stand
a) Describe the position.
Script: "I would like you to try to stand on one leg for 30 seconds. You may stand on either leg, whichever is more comfortable. Ill demonstrate."
b) Demonstrate the one leg stand by lifting the opposite leg so that the toes are about 2 inches off the floor. The knee should be flexed. While demonstrating say:
Script: "Try to hold your foot up until I say stop. If you lose your balance put your foot down."
c) Allow the participant to hold onto your arm to get balanced. Say:
Script: "Hold onto my arm while you get in position. When you are ready, let go."
Start timing when the participant lets go.
Stop the stopwatch if they take a step or grab a support. Record to 0.01 second how long participant is able to hold this position.
Say, "STOP" after 30 seconds.
d) If the participant holds the position for 30 seconds, stop the exam. Otherwise, perform a second trial of the One Leg Stand.
Script: "Now, lets do the same thing one more time."
Score as follows:
If the participant refuses to do the test or cannot understand the instructions, score "Participant refused."
If the examiner does not allow the participant to attempt a stand, score "Not attempted, unable."
If the participant cannot attain the position at all or cannot hold it for at least one second, score "Unable to attain position or cannot hold for at least one second."
Record to 0.01 second how long participant is able to hold each position.
Personnel and Training Required
The person who administers the test should either observe the test being administrated by an experienced examiner or attend a Health ABC training session. The person should also be experienced at assisting the elderly.
|Specialized requirements for biospecimen collection||No|
|Average time of greater than 15 minutes in an unaffected individual||No|
Mode of Administration
Adults age 70 and older
This balance test is relatively easy to administer and was used during a major epidemiology study of more than 3,000 participants.
|caDSR Common Data Elements (CDE)||Person Balance Test Assessment Score||3182293||CDE Browser|
|Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC)||Balance proto||64388-2||LOINC|
|Human Phenotype Ontology||Postural instability||HP:0002172||HPO|
Process and Review
Protocol Name from Source
National Institutes of Health. National Institute on Aging. The Health, Aging and Body Composition (Health ABC) Study. Operations Manual Volume XIII. One Leg Stand. 2007.
|Variable Name||Variable ID||Variable Description||dbGaP Mapping|
|PX170801010000||Time participant holds position during first more||N/A|
|PX170801010100||Time participant holds position during first more||N/A|
|PX170801020000||Time participant holds position during more||N/A|
|PX170801020100||Time participant holds position during more||N/A|
January 21, 2010
This measure tests the respondent's ability to maintain his/her balance while standing on one leg.
This measure can be used to assess the respondent's balance, which reflects strength, coordination, and flexibility. The measure can be used to assess risk of falls.
Health ABC Study, movement, physical activity, arthritis, balance, stance, gait, flexibility, muscle strength, older adults, elderly, senior citizen, functional ability, physical fitness, physical functioning, lower extremity, seniors, tremor, gerontology, aging, geriatrics, bone, joint