, Volume 20, Issue 7, pp 1233-1240
Date: 15 Nov 2008

Preventative effect of exercise against falls in the elderly: a randomized controlled trial

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

Summary

The present study was conducted to determine the effect of 5-month exercise program on the prevention of falls in the elderly. The exercise training, which consisted of calisthenics, body balance training, muscle power training, and walking ability training 3 days/week improved the indices of the flexibility, body balance, muscle power, and walking ability and reduced the incidence of falls compared with non-exercise controls. The present study showed the beneficial effect of the exercise program aimed at improving flexibility, body balance, muscle power, and walking ability in preventing falls in the elderly.

Introduction

The present study was conducted to determine the effect of exercise on the prevention of falls in the elderly.

Methods

Sixty-eight elderly ambulatory volunteers were randomly divided into two groups: the exercise and control groups. The daily exercise, which consisted of calisthenics, body balance training (tandem standing, tandem gait, and unipedal standing), muscle power training (chair-rising training), and walking ability training (stepping), were performed 3 days/week only in the exercise group. No exercise was performed in the control group.

Results

After the 5-month exercise program, the indices of the flexibility, body balance, muscle power, and walking ability significantly improved in the exercise group compared with the control group. The incidence of falls was significantly lower in the exercise group than in the control group (0.0% vs. 12.1%, P = 0.0363). The exercise program was safe and well tolerated in the elderly.

Conclusions

The present study showed the beneficial effect of the exercise program aimed at improving flexibility, body balance, muscle power, and walking ability in preventing falls in the elderly.