A new study has suggested that elderly men who exercise may cut their risk of suffering from serious injury if they fall; such as broken bones. Scientists were looking to test whether or not elderly people would benefit from following exercise programmes. The study, which was published in ‘The BMJ’ journal, used the data of 1,635 sedentary adults aged between 70 and 89 years old, from the US Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders (LIFE) study.
You can read the full article on The Independent.
Moderate exercises used in the study
The researchers asked half of the participants to follow a structured and moderate exercise programme at a centre twice a week and also at home three to four times a week. Previously participants were dealing with some mobility problems for example – no being able to walk more than 400 metres.
The exercise programme they were given included aerobic moves, and others, to help build strength and flexibility. The other half of the participants attended workshops about relevant topics for older people, including stretches for the upper body. The team followed up and monitored how many falls each participant had in three and a half years, by checking in with them every six months.
They found that that elderly men who did exercises were less likely to have serious falls, suffer fractures or be hospitalised than women in the same group.
What to do in the event of a fall
The study found that while the exercises did not significantly cut the number of falls, elderly men were less likely to suffer serious injuries such as broken bones or be hospitalised.
In the UK falls are the most common cause of injury related to deaths in people aged over 75. If you or someone you know may be at risk of falling and injuring themselves you may want to think about a personal alarm for elderly men and women. Keep calm if you do fall and press your alarm right away, a care team member will respond almost immediately and work to get help to you.
Other things you can do to help prevent falls are:
- Keep the home tidy and clear of tripping hazards on the floor.
- Ensure floor levels are not varied and wear shoes around the house or slippers with grips.
- Eat a healthy diet and ensure you have three meals a day. Keeping active if possible will help strengthen bones.