Incorporating regular strength and balance training exercises into seniors’ daily activities can reduce the occurrence of falls by 31%, finds a study by the BMJ Group, a medical information and resource company.
The study looks at seniors using the Lifestyle integrated Functional Exercise (LiFE) as a strength building program for 12 months. The program incorporates balance and strength activities into daily routines and proves to increase seniors’ mobility and functionality, according to the study.
While the average occurrence of falls for a controlled group not using the strength and balance program was 2.28 per year, the study found a lower average fall occurrence for those using the program, of 1.66.
The LiFE program reduces the risk of falls by improving lower limb strength, especially in the ankles, and increases participants’ abilities to function on their own or with less assistance than those not using the program, says BMJ Group.
An increase in senior functionality also leads to decreased costs for senior care providers as it allow seniors to be more mobile on their own. A decreased likelihood of a fall could also mean a decreased chance of needing medical or hospital attention.
Adherence to the LiFE program, the study found, was higher than another program that emphasized gentle exercise.
Read the study’s abstract here.
Written by Erin Hegarty