Unipedal Stance Test: Eyes open & Closed

Updated: Aug 17, 2020

How good is your balance? Can you walk around without falling? Can you stand on one leg for 45 seconds?


This test measures your single leg stability. In other words how good you are at holding still on one leg, without severe compensations.This is a very easy assessment to implement because it requires zero equipment, which means EVERYONE can do it!

Purpose: The unipedal stance test provides a simple measure of static balance performance.

Background: The validity of this test has been demonstrated by its relationship with gait performance, risk of falling, and ability to perform activities of daily living (ADL) for older adults. This widely used test provides a reliable measure of static balance for children and adults.

Procedures:

1. Determine the client’s dominant leg by having them kick a ball.

Keep in mind if you do have them kick a soccer ball, it is their plant foot (the one not

kicking) that will be used as the dominant stability leg.

If you do not have a soccer ball, ask them to pick the foot they feel most confident on.

2. Prior to raising one leg off the floor, clients fold their arms across the chest.

3. The client stands barefooted on dominant leg and raises the other foot near to but not

touching the ankle of the stance limb. Start the stop watch as soon as the client lifts the

foot off the floor.

4. For the eyes-open test, the client focuses on a spot on the wall at eye level.

5. Administer 3 trials and use the best score.

6. Refer to chart below for age-gender norms.


Terminate test when the client does any of the following:

Uncrosses or uses arms to maintain balance

Moves the raised foot away from the standing limb or touches the floor with raised foot

Moves the weight-bearing foot to maintain balance

Exceeds maximum duration of 45-seconds

Opens eyes during the closed-eyes one-leg stance test

Reference:

American College of Sports Medicine. ACSM's guidelines for exercise testing and prescription. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2013.

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