No doubt you’ve heard about the many documented benefits of
physical activity: decreased incidence of disease and increased
vitality and wellness. Are you participating in a consistent
exercise routine? If you’re not, it’s never too late to start.
a study that appeared in the British Journal of Sports
Medicine which examined the potential relationship between
balance and postural control deficits and the incidence of
falls. Specifically, the authors sought to determine whether
it is of value for the elderly to start physical and sporting
activities (PSA). Sixty five men and women (aged 60-85) were
divided into four groups based on reported levels of PSA (always
practiced; never practiced; lately begun; or stopped at an
early age), and a series of posture tests provided information
on overall balance control and other variables.
Consistent participation in physical and sporting activities
optimized balance control. Subjects who never practiced PSA
had the worst balance control; subjects who always practiced
PSA had the best control. Most interesting perhaps was the
observation that subjects who had begun PSA late in life had
nearly the same postural control as those who had always practiced
As the authors suggest in their conclusion, “…PSA are extremely
useful for elderly people even if it has not been a lifelong
habit.” These findings are particularly important, as accidental
falls are the primary cause of death among the elderly population.
Whatever your age, take advantage of the many benefits of
consistent physical activity. For more information, contact
For more information on senior health issues, visit http://www.chiroweb.com/find/tellmeabout/seniors.html
Perrin PP, Gauchard GC, Perrot C. Effects of physical and
sporting activities on balance control in elderly people.
British Journal of Sports Medicine 1999: Vol. 33, No.