Balance Awareness Week: Join us for the Flamingo Challenge
September 17th to 23rd is Balance Awareness Week! There are 3 main systems that help keep us balanced: our visual system (eyes), sensory system (feet), and vestibular system (inner ears). Our vestibular system, or inner ear system, contains fluid and crystals that help our brain sense movement and then react to keep us upright. When the vestibular system becomes impacted, it can lead to dizziness and an increased risk of falls. More than one third of people over age 40 have experienced some form of vestibular dysfunction. Vestibular disorders can often be difficult to diagnose. Unfortunately, many vestibular patients visit 4-5 doctors before receiving a correct diagnosis.
The Vestibular Disorders Association (VeDA) created an annual Balance Awareness Week to increase awareness about vestibular disorders. The goal of increasing awareness is to help patients advocate for themselves, and to help patients and medical providers reach a diagnosis sooner and therefore lead to improved care.
The Flamingo Challenge was created to increase awareness of balance and vestibular disorders. The Flamingo Challenge is a timed assessment of standing on one leg without holding on with your hands. Research has shown that being able to balance on one leg for 10 seconds is an indicator of improved future health and wellness.
We encourage everyone to practice standing on one leg! This activity improves leg strength and coordination, and helps you improve your balance to reduce fall risk. If standing on one leg without holding on is challenging, try starting with 1 hand on a counter or chair. Over time, try just putting your fingertips on the surface, then try removing your hand as you feel more steady.
You can choose to participate in this challenge at your next appointment at Engage. Just tell your therapist that you want to join in and they will time you standing on each leg. The person who can stand on one leg the longest will receive a prize!
Have questions about balance? Contact us at email@example.com or 315-810-2423.