To Your Health
February, 2024 (Vol. 18, Issue 02)
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Senior Fall Risk: Prevention

By Editorial Staff

When we get older, our fall risk increases. That's bad news because seniors who experience falls can suffer injuries that can affect mobility, independence – and in some cases, even their livelihood.

Depending on age and functionality, a fall that causes a hip fracture can prove fatal. In fact, according to the CDC, nearly 40,000 adults ages 65 and older die from preventable falls, with nearly 3 million treated in the ER.

OK, so let's talk prevention. It comes down to balance and mobility. That means staying active and fit should reduce your fall risk as you get older – and research bears that out. Moderate and moderate-to-vigorous leisure-time physical activity, including a popular senior activity – brisk walking – is associated with a lower risk of non-injury and injury falls compared with no leisure-time physical activity.

What's moderate leisure-time physical activity? Think recreational swimming, social tennis, etc. Vigorous activity includes activities that make you breathe harder, or even puff/pant: aerobics, vigorous cycling, running, swimming, etc.

While the study that yielded the above findings involved older women, it's likely they apply to older men as well. The point: Staying active as you age is an important variable in health and longevity, reducing disease risk, improving mood, and reducing fall risk. So get out there and stay active!