I’m studying a course at the moment – Senior Fitness Specialist – with the American Council on Exercise, and as part of the posture and fitness assessment within this course the Stork Stand Balance Test is used as a measure of static balance ability for ‘higher functioning’ older adults. It is a highly challenging test, so is not to be used for older adults who suffer with very poor strength or balance (there are other tests to use in that case).
Here are the basic cues for the test if you’d like to have a go yourself. (There are no norms available as yet for this test, but repeating the test after a period of a few months, during which balance challenges are performed regularly, will provide information as to improvements in static balance).
1. In your bare feet, stand between the backs of two chairs, lightly touching them for support. Put your weight onto one foot, put the other foot against your inner calf, then put your hands on your hips and rise up onto the ball of your foot. Balance for as long as you can, without too much sway or without putting the heel down.
2. If this is too difficult, use your entire foot. Gaze at something straight ahead of you. Take three tries and use your best score.
3. An average score for ‘younger’ people is apparently 25 – 30 seconds!
4. My score was pretty woeful at 12 – 15 seconds at best!
Anyone make a minute?