Tags: swimming | exercise | fall | seniors | pool | workout

Swimming Helps Seniors Prevent Falls

By    |   Monday, 20 October 2014 03:47 PM

Swimming may be the best exercise for adults, suggests a new study that finds pool workouts are the most effective way to reduce seniors’ risks of falling down and getting hurt.
 
Researchers in Australia tracked about 1,700 men ages 70 and older, and compared the types of exercise they did with their likelihood of experiencing a fall over a four-year period, the LiveScience Website reports. 

There were nearly 2,700 falls during the study. Men in the study who swam were 33 percent less likely to fall compared with non-swimmers. In addition, the researchers found that the men who did other forms of exercise — including golfing, doing calisthenics, working out on treadmills or stationary bikes, or playing lawn bowling games (similar to Bocce ball) — were no less likely to fall, the researchers found.
 
"Unlike [with] land-based sports, swimmers are required to create their own base of support and at the same time, to produce a coordinated movement of both upper and lower extremities," said Dafna Merom, an associate professor of physical activity and health at the University of Western Sydney in Australia.
 
The researchers also found that the swimmers did better on a test of "postural sway" — a test of standing balance.
 
Falls are a major public health problem in older adults. Some falls can cause broken bones, head trauma, and other severe injuries, but even less-serious falls can lower people's mobility while they are recovering, and lead to other problems.
 
Among adults ages 65 and older, one in three experience a fall yearly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
 
The most common form of exercise that older adults engage in is walking, but studies have shown that walking does not lower the risk of falls, the researchers said in their study, which was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
 

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Swimming may be the best exercise for adults, according to a new study that finds pool workouts are the most effective way to reduce seniors' risks of falling down and getting hurt.
swimming, exercise, fall, seniors, pool, workout
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2014-47-20
Monday, 20 October 2014 03:47 PM
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