© PhotoAlto/Sigrid Olsson Woman standing in tree pose on edge of infinity pool PhotoAlto/Sigrid Olsson
Is standing on one leg a piece of cake for you? That could be a good sign for your relationships. In what can only be described as a poetic finding, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and University of Waterloo found a connection between physical wobbliness and perceived relationship instability.
Their study tested the relationship between physical sensation and emotional feeling — part of a field of inquiry called embodied cognition. They wanted to see if a physical sensation of instability would lead to an emotional perception of the same.
First, the researchers asked college students in romantic relationships to sit at either a stable work station or a subtly wobbly one. They also asked each student to rate the stability of his or her relationship. The students sitting at unstable workstations viewed their romantic relationships as being of lower quality, while the stable workstation cohort felt significantly better about their partners.
To test this idea in greater depth, researchers reached out to a larger group and asked people who were in longterm, committed relationships to stand on one leg in front of a computer screen. People who wobbled on one leg were more likely to perceive their relationships as unlikely to last than those who stayed steady.
Intrigued? Relationship stability isn’t the only thing related to balance. If standing on one leg is easy for you, you may be at lower risk for stroke and brain disease, according to a 2014 study. And a 2010 study found a link…