Swimming for Stability

March 18, 2015 in LifeCare Health Services

A recent study finds swimming to be a great exercise option for retirees to lower their fall risk. Participants included nearly 1,700 men age 70 and older. Researchers looked at the types of exercise performed by the participants and compared that with the likelihood of a fall over a four-year follow-up period. Over 2,500 falls were recorded during the study. However, the men who swam were 33 percent less likely to suffer a fall than those who participated in other activities such as golf and rhythmic gymnastics. The swimmers also scored better on walking speed and balance tests than the other participants. The study authors say swimming develops strong and stable core muscles which aid balance – a major protective factor against falls.

 

Of course, if a retiree leaves home infrequently because leaving the home requires a taxing effort, this reduces the opportunity to swim. Home health fall-injury-prevention programs with rehabilitation, home safety techniques, and medication review have been shown to improve the risk of fall injuries and protect the health, safety, and happiness of retirees.  If you or someone you care about could benefit from a fall-injury-prevention program, please call us to discuss treatment options.

 

Source: Merom D, Stanaway F, Handelsman D, et al. Swimming and other sporting activities and the rate of falls in older men: longitudinal findings from the Concord Health and Ageing in Men Project. American Journal of Epidemiology, 2014 Oct 15; 180 (8): 830-837.

Swimming Fall Risk

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