Group training reduces falls and injuries in older women

Photo credit: Unsplash+

Research from the University of Eastern Finland suggests that greater access to group exercise opportunities can significantly reduce falls and injury rates in older women.

The findings, recently published in Age and Aging, underscore the importance of exercise in maintaining health and preventing injury in older adults.

Fall prevention exercise

Although the health benefits of physical activity are well known, there are few practical studies showing how societal strategies can increase physical activity to prevent falls in older people.

In this new study, researchers worked with the city of Kuopio in Finland to investigate whether better opportunities for group exercise could prevent falls and related injuries.

The study design and the participants

The study involved 914 women with an average age of 76.5 years. The participants were divided into two groups – an exercise intervention group and a control group.

The exercise group received a free 12-month pass to the city’s recreational facilities, including weekly supervised gym and thai chi sessions for the first six months of the intervention.

Keep track of falls

During the approximately two-year follow-up period, the researchers collected data on recent falls every two weeks using SMS queries and fall diaries.

They registered a total of 1,380 falls, with 93% of the cases being verified over the phone as to the circumstances of the incident.

Most falls occurred on flat surfaces by tripping or slipping, with a quarter of all falls occurring indoors.

Outcomes of the exercise intervention

While approximately 60% of women in both groups suffered at least one fall during the follow-up period, there was a significant reduction in recurrent falls and fall-related injuries in the exercise intervention group.

This group experienced 14.3% fewer falls overall and 25.6% fewer indoor falls than the control group.

Overall, there were also fewer fall-related injuries in the exercise group, with falls that resulted in significant pain falling by 41% and falls that resulted in a fracture diagnosis by 38%.

implement exercise strategies

The study shows that free access to group exercise at light- or moderate-intensity can effectively prevent falls and reduce fall-related injuries among older women in urban settings.

Therefore, the study’s first author, lead researcher Toni Rikkonen, suggests that municipalities and community services should encourage wider implementation of such strategies.

Collaborating with healthcare professionals on falls prevention in local communities appears to be a promising approach.

If you care about pain, please read studies about it Vitamin K deficiency associated with hip fracture in the elderlyAnd These vitamins could help reduce the risk of fractures.

Further information on the topic of wellness can be found in current studies Krill oil could improve muscle health in the elderlyAnd Consumption of yogurt is associated with lower frailty in the elderly.

The study was published in old age and aging.

Copyright © 2023 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.

Related Articles

Back to top button