Resistance Training Helps Prevent Falls, a New Study
A new study examined the relationship between resistance training and the risk of falls. McKnights reports of the study, run over a course of eight weeks, where participants were subject to a structured aerobic and flexibility program. It was concluded that older adults who were previously inactive had a lower risk of falling when they participated in this program. In addition, participants formed new exercise habits that they maintained for up to one year after the study ended.
About 60 older adults participated in the study, all over the age of 60 years. They were sedentary with less than 30 minutes of exercise per week and did not participate in strength training. Additionally, they were independent, ambulatory and did not have any physical injury or condition that prevented them from participating in the exercise. The research was conducted at the University of Missouri.
The participants were divided into three groups randomly – a control group, a walking group and a group that took part in the Stay Strong, Stay Healthy (SSSH) program. The control group maintained their inactive lifestyle. The walking group walked twice a week for 60 minutes each time. The SSSH group participated in a progressive resistance training program twice a week for eight weeks. Each session lasted for 60 minutes.
The SSSH group experienced the most change in activity engagement, sleep quality and 30-second-sit-to-stand and upper-body flexibility. Even one year later, members of the SSSH group had increased independent resistance, aerobic and flexibility training minutes per week. Due to this, participants of this group were able to meet activity guidelines even during the COVID-19 pandemic as they continued to maintain their active lifestyle.
Researchers concluded, “The cyclical relationship between exercise engagement, functional capacity, self-efficacy, and fall risk has been well established and data from this study suggests that SSSH participation improves both exercise engagement and functional capacity.”
Cornerstone Rehab clinicians provide rehabilitation therapy to older adults in skilled nursing facilities. This includes patients who are at a higher risk for falls. Our clinicians are skilled to provide physical and occupational therapy to patients who may be recovering from injuries associated with falls.