Researchers from the University of Eastern Finland found that exercising together helps prevent falls and related injuries among older women. Research published in the journal Age and Aging.
In collaboration with the city of Kuopio (Finland), the researchers conducted a large study involving a total of 914 women with an average age of 76.5 years. Participants were divided into two groups: the first provided free access to the city’s recreational sports facilities, including weekly gym and tai chi classes, and the second group lived as usual.
The women were followed for about two years. Information on recent drops was collected biweekly using SMS requests. A total of 1380 falls were recorded. About half of these occurred on flat surfaces, mostly due to snags or slips. One out of every four falls occurred indoors.
About 60% of women in both groups fell at least once during the observation period. However, the exercise group as a whole experienced 14.3% fewer falls and 25.6% fewer falls indoors than the control group.
Compared to the control group, the number of falls that caused severe pain was 41% less, and the number of falls that resulted in fracture was 38% less.
The study confirmed that free, light-to-moderate-intensity group exercise can prevent falls and reduce fall-related injuries among older women in urban areas.
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