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Four sport pillars preventing falls in the elderly – 14.08.2019



Contrary to what one can imagine as something so close and common to man because he learns to walk after falling, they are a serious public health problem. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) this is the second worldwide cause of death from accidental or unintended injuries for road accidents, which kill around 64,000 people worldwide and over 37 million accidents annually, require medical attention. In this sense, people over the age of 65 are most at risk of death or serious injury.

That is why WHO recommends designing preventive strategies that emphasize education, training, creating safer environments, prioritizing fall-related research, and establishing effective risk mitigation policies. At the individual level, specialists recommend avoiding a sedentary lifestyle and promote the implementation of physical activity tailored to the capabilities of each person.

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"We know that falls can be avoided, or at least there are many mechanisms that limit their spread," said Bachelor of Physical Education, Sport and Health Mariano Sassano, also a professor at the Faculty of Human Motricity Inter-American Open University (UAI).

The specialist has given four pillars that help maintain. "We emphasize to prevent falls aerobic exercises (walking, dancing, running, swimming, etc.), muscle strength exercises (resistance training: from the most orthodox as a workout in the gym, to sports such as rowing, for example), stretching (yoga, pilates, artistic gymnastics, among others) and gait reeducation / balance (Tai Chi, judo).

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Various scientific studies confirm that the plans they cover are the most beneficial multiple", He emphasized. Sassano, who is also the chairman of the Social Network on Human Rights for Active and Healthy Aging (RSDHEAS 23 provinces), said that when designing a physical exercise program for the elderly, a comprehensive test "on cognitive, functional, emotional and social variables" should also be carried out .

Exercise requires stretching.

Exercise requires stretching.

The purpose of the test is to visualize "repeated falls, which will be an indicator of instability or a tendency to disability, which will allow us to take a more appropriate approach. Without going too deep into the causes of the fall, we point to medical, functional, psychological, psycho-affective and pharmacological factors "- he continued.

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The muscle weakness (also called sarcopenia) is one of the major risk factors for bone fractures due to falls. According to various studies, 1 in 8 women over the age of 65 have a significant deterioration in muscle mass, while in men the figure is 1 over 20 years. Therefore, in addition to physical activity, with age, you add more protein to your diet.

"There are prospective studies on social intervention in which, although there is no significant reduction in the number of falls in people over 70 years, tendency to reduce fractures or days of inability to perform daily activities through a multidisciplinary approach, "Sassano summarized the results of a good exercise plan planning.


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