Exercise may prevent injuries from falls for elderly
Exercise programs aimed at preventing falls in older adults may also prevent injuries caused by falls, according to a study published in BMJ.
Falls among older adults are very common, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as one in three adults aged 65 or older suffers a fall each year. And, 20 to 30 percent of people who fall suffer moderate to severe injuries, which can have serious implications on a person’s mobility and independence.
For the study, researchers analyzed data from 17 trials involving 4,305 participants with a mean age of 76. One group containing 2,195 participants went to exercise programs, while the others were the controls.
They found that in the majority of cases where elderly people exercised, falls were less likely to result in medical care, fractures or serious injuries. They estimated that the overall reduction to be 37 percent for injurious falls, 43 percent for severe injurious falls and 61 percent for falls resulting in fractures.
The researchers concluded that health care providers should encourage older adults to participate in exercise programs to prevent falls and injuries.