Study compares fall prevention workouts for elderly

Sydney – Integrating balance and strength training into the daily routine of older adults can help prevent falls, according to a study conducted by the University of Sydney in Australia.

Researchers developed and tested what they called the Lifestyle-integrated Functional Exercise program, which incorporates balance and lower limb strength training into daily activities such as walking and stepping over objects for people 70 and older.

Compared with a control group, LiFE participants had a 31 percent reduction in the rate of falls, according to a press release from BMJ Group, which published the study. Overall, the incidence of falls for the LiFE group was 1.66 per person years, compared with 2.28 in the control group and 1.9 in a structured exercise program using ankle cuff weights.

LiFE participants also had improved static and dynamic balance, ankle strength, and function in daily life, the release stated.

The study was published online Aug. 7 in the journal BMJ.

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