Falls Prevention

A fall is classified as any event that leads to a person coming to rest on the ground or floor or other level inadvertently.

Now you may be thinking to yourself that this blog doesn’t apply to you, maybe you’re young, relatively fit and you haven’t fallen before. That is great! However, I’m sure you have a loved one, a family member or a friend that is at a higher risk of falling.

So how can this blog help you?

Well first we must understand what some of the consequences of a fall can involve

  • Economic – depending on the severity of the fall, this can be quite costly to the individual and the wider community (the annual cost of falls is estimated at $600 million per year in Australia!)
  • Injury – Obvious one but this can be debilitating to the quality of life of a person
  • Social withdrawal – Now we are injured we can no longer engage in our everyday activities with our friends and family
  • Increased mental health disease – This may present as anxiety and depression
  • Moving into aged care earlier than required – Again another major economic factor on the individual and family members of the person that suffered a fall

This is not an extensive list but it certainly touches on why we want to avoid falls through falls prevention programs.

So how do you know if you’re at a falls risk?

Can you stand on one leg for 30s without stumbling, wobbling excessively or holding onto an object?

If you answered no to any of those questions, you’re at a risk of falling!

Can you shut your eyes and stand on one leg for 10s without stumbling, wobbling excessively or holding onto an object?

If you answered no to any of those questions, you’re at a risk of falling!

I’m not trying to scare you with these tests rather open your eyes to the fact that even though you may have been able to do these tasks with relative ease once upon a time, we must obey the principle of reversibility.

That is to say – Use it or Lose it.

Next question – What is a falls prevention program?

To prevent falls one of the most effective and evidence-based interventions is exercise.

Yes, Exercise is a form of medicine!

A well-designed falls prevention program will enable people to improve their strength, increase their body awareness and coordination while also promoting increased movement quality (mobility) in the individual. This will occur through a combination of strengthening, cardio exercise, balance training and more.

Some quick facts around the effectiveness of exercise interventions can result in:

  • Preventing 42% of falls through a tailored exercise regime
  • Decreasing your risk of falling by 25% through strengthening your legs

Now let’s not forget the host of other benefits of exercise as I have previously written about in my blog post “The Benefits of Exercise”.

We are made to move, rather than fear falling we should shift our focus to fear inactivity.

Let’s prevent falls and start a movement. Move Right, Live Right.

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