Break Away Challenge

Breakaway V2.3


Here at IPRS Health we believe in making things simple. Exercise should be simple, life should be simple and looking after yourself should be simple. The Breakaway Challenge is an opportunity for you to take some time out of your working day; whether in an office or out and about to carry out some simple tests and exercises to improve certain aspects of your Physical or Mental Health.

This quarter we are going to start with testing your balance. Balance in adults has been shown to reduce as we get older*. We recognise that having good balance can help us manage normal day to day activities, and those more challenging activities, with more stability. That’s everything from walking up and down stairs, walking on Ice in winter, playing with children, playing the odd 5 aside game of football or learning to salsa.

‘Regain your balance’. Follow the simple video on how to test your balance. You will then have access to simple exercises that you can do wherever you are**. Make sure the area is clear and safe to perform this test and subsequent exercises.


The Test

Stand barefoot (ideally) on the leg of your choice, with the other leg raised so that the raised foot is near but not touching the ankle of the leg you are standing on.  Focus on a spot on the wall at eye level in front of you for the duration of the test and cross your arms across your chest.

End the test when you: (1) use your arms (ie, uncrossed arms), (2) use the raised foot (move it toward or away from the standing limb or touch the floor), (3) move the weight-bearing foot to maintain balance (i.e. rotate foot on the ground), (4) a maximum of 45 seconds has elapsed, or (5) open your eyes on eyes closed trials.

Repeat 3 times and record each time. Take the average of your 3 goes. Repeat this for the other leg, if you're feeling up to it repeat with your eyes closed and see if you notice the difference! Then check your time against the normative values below.

normal values

 Want to improve your score? Try the simple exercises below and re-test at the end of this quarter to see how your score improves!


The Exercises

Mini Squats

A. Stand with your feet hip width apart, knees slightly bent.

B. Bend Your knees slightly and straighten your legs again.

C. Perform this movement 10 times

Difficulty - You can make this more challenging by bending your knees further or closing your eyes.


Step Ups

A. Step up and down a set of stairs or steps

B. Do this 10 times and swap your leading leg

Difficulty – You can make this more challenging by increasing how many times you step up and down.


One-leg stand with mini leg swing

A. Start by standing up and balancing on one leg

B. Lift one leg and swing it in front and behind you in a controlled manner and with a small swing to start.

Difficulty - To make this more challenging place your arms across your chest and close your eyes and increase how many times you swing your leg 


Send us your pictures to add in to our next newsletter – the winners in return will receive an office hamper (to share with your colleagues)… it may even contain a bottle of bubbly… that will certainly test your balance…


* Normative Values for the Unipedal Stance Test with Eyes Open and Closed. Barbara A. Springer, Tamara Cyhan, Holly Roberts, Norman W. Gill. 

**You are advised to consult your GP or health provider before starting any exercise programme, especially if you have any pre-existing injuries or conditions. The information contained within this newsletter is intended to support you in being active, but is not a prescribed remedial programme. The exercises and tests have been put together by Chartered Physiotherapists, and as such are safe for general use; however, any unsupervised exercise programme has a risk of pain and injury. If you choose to participate, you do so at your own risk, therefore accepting all liability and responsibility for yourself and your health, and waiving any and all claims for injury or any other losses against IPRS Health or its employees.