A new research study says that seniors who exercise may lower their risks from falling injuries and resulting financial burdens
There were 40 randomized trials conducted with 21,868 participants which showed when older adults exercised it significantly reduced their chances of falling or even sustaining an injury from their falls. The study was published in the JAMA Internal Medicine on Friday.
While the study showed that exercise didn’t lower the chances of older adults falling several times nor lower hospitalization and mortality from falling, it proved that exercise is crucial to senior health and longevity in other areas as well.
“Exercise training is an intervention of utmost importance for older adults’ health leading to benefits on multiple systems and functions, including muscle and bone health, the cardiometabolic system, as well as physical and potentially cognitive functions,” the study read.
According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), one in four people over the age of 65 in the US takes a spill every year which results in 2.8 billion injuries being treated in emergency rooms annually. According to their statistics, senior injuries from falling and falls ending in fatal injuries are the most common reasons for older adults’ admission to hospitals. In fact, more than 27,000 deaths have resulted from falling in older adults.
Besides injuries and deaths, there is the cost factor. The cost of fall injuries is rising and the last records of 2015 showed an increase to $50 billion. 75 percent of that cost was passed on to Medicare and Medicaid which will present our country with quite a problem when the baby boomers born from 1957 to 1965 start taking their retirements beginning in 2022. Furthermore, some analysts are expecting the high cost of medical care for seniors from just falling to reach $67.7 billion by 2020, just a year from now.
Falls for seniors are not only costly in dollars but also in quality of life. They tend to lose confidence in themselves and start isolating socially which results in inactivity and the loss of muscle strength and balance which increases the risk of falling.
However, according to the NCOA there are three ways to prevent the advent of falls in one’s later years: “Through practical lifestyle adjustments, evidence-based programs, and community partnerships, the number of falls among seniors can be reduced substantially.”
In particular, it is heavily recommended by researchers that practical lifestyle changes from a sedentary lifestyle to one of activity such as walking, swimming or any low-impact aerobic exercise, or doing balance or strength training for the lower limbs will prove to be beneficial to reducing the risks of falling. They recommend exercising two to three times per week for 50 minute intervals.
“Long-term exercise is associated with a reduction in falls, injurious falls, and probably fractures in older adults, including people with cardiometabolic and neurological diseases,” says the study published in JAMA.
NCOA has 16 different evidence-based falls prevention programs available nationwide . For tips about preventing a fall go to
So seniors, join an exercise group! Get moving and live healthy and joyfully!