Skip to main content

Targeted exercise cuts fall risk by more than a third

August 13, 2012

Many older adults are understandably concerned about their risk of falling. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are the leading cause of injury-related death in adults over 65. While seniors can make changes around the house to reduce their risk, certain simple exercises can also help them stride more confidently.

The encouraging news comes out of England, where researchers found older adults who participated in a program focusing on strength and balance reduce their risk of falls by around 31 percent, the Daily Mail reports.

The study followed about 300 people in their 70s who were enrolled in the Lifestyle Integrated Functional Exercise (LIFE). The program includes exercises designed specifically to reduce falls  such as stepping over objects and moving from standing to sitting. Researchers say the findings should encourage retirement communities and senior experts to make use of similar programs.

"Functional based exercise should be a focus for interventions to protect older, high risk people from falling and to improve and maintain functional capacity," the researchers wrote.

Despite the clear benefits, few adults are heeding the advice. According to the newspaper, only about 10 percent of older adults engage in strength building activities.