Research Abstract

Academy Title:Kim2006
Research Article: The Effect of Fall Prevention Exercise Program for the Elderly (Abstract)
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: Volume 38(5) Supplement May 2006 p S443

The Effect of Fall Prevention Exercise Program for the Elderly

Kim, Byungsung1; Nam, Seungwoo1; Choi, Hyunrim1; Won, Changwon1; Chae, Younghee2

1Kyunghee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

2Seongbuk Elderly Welfare Center, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Email: byungskim@naver.com

PURPOSE: Fall is a frequent problem for elderly and it could give rise to fracture, decreased mobility, fear for recurrent falls, and medical complications. The authors tried to find out the effect of regular physical exercise for the prevention of recurrent falls.

METHODS: This study was randomized controlled trial of 12 week course of exercise for the community dwelling elderly aged 65 or over who had experienced at least one fall during the last year. The exercise consisted of lower extremities muscle strengthening of plantar flexors, dorsiflexors, inverters, and everters using theraband and proprioceptive exercise using stability trainers. Each exercise session continued for 90 minutes including flexibility exercises and was performed twice weekly for 12 weeks. For the control group, we did not give any information about fall prevention. We compared the one-leg standing time of each legs and the occurrence rate of falls for 8 months after intervention using Mann-Whitney U-test.

RESULTS: The one-leg standing time increased significantly for the exercise group in both sides compared to control group(left: 35.9±39.7 vs. -3.4±10.8 seconds, p < 0.001; right: 45.2±49.5 vs. -2.6±14.4 seconds, p < 0.001). After the exercise intervention, there were 3 cases(14.3%) of falls out of 21 persons for the exercise group compared to 7 cases(36.8%) out of 19 person for the control group(p=0.212). The frequency of falls tended to be lower for those with high compliance among exercise group.

CONCLUSIONS: Twelve weeks of ankle muscles strengthening and balance exercise program was effective to increase one-leg standing time and tended to decrease the frequency of falls among the elderly.

©2006The American College of Sports Medicine

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