As a Sacramento Chiropractor I know how important it is for all of us to maintain good balance, especially as we age. Good balance helps us to walk without stumbling, get up from a sitting position without swaying, and to climb stairs without missing a step. In other words, good balance is extremely important to our health and well-being. And, even though many adults aged 65 and older report episodes of dizziness, “wooziness, and other balance-related challenges, getting older, in and of itself, doesn’t have to mean a fall is inevitable or that being younger includes an exemption. In fact, a new research study found that remaining physically fit and sticking to a regular exercise routine lowered the risk of taking a tumble both the old and young, especially if you’re a male.
As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, falls for both men and women of any age can be serious. The overall statistics on the number of falls sustained each year in the U.S., not only for people 65 years and older but for younger individuals as well, may surprise you. Nearly 19,000 people die each year from falls and almost 8 million seek treatment in emergency rooms. And, as mentioned, although falls are the leading cause of injuries among people age 65 and older, the study revealed that young people fall down just as frequently as seniors!
Let’s face it, even though reaching old age can be a very “risky” business in many ways if we don’t take care of ourselves along the way, as far as falling goes younger people are more likely to intentionally engage in risky activities than seniors, such as standing on ladders and ledges, running, and playing sports — activities that can often lead to a serious tumble.
But, no matter what a person’s age may be, the more physically fit we remain reduces our fall potential, especially if you are a male. The study included individuals between 20 and 87 years of age. Of the 10,615 participants in the study, done be researchers, lead by Kristin Mertz, M.D., at the epidemiology department at the University of Pittsburgh, 20 percent reported falling in the past year. Of those who fell, 15 percent fell while walking. Surprisingly, the study found that women were 2.8 times as likely to fall while walking as men, but that the fitness levels of the participants only seemed to make a difference in men falling while it did not appear to have the same effect for women. The study found men with low fitness levels were 2.2 times more likely to fall while walking than were highly fit men.
“We were surprised to find that fitness and physical activity seemed to have a stronger relationship with walking-related falls in men compared with women,” Mertz said. As a chiropractor, I am surprised with that finding as well.
And, as your Sacramento Chiropractor, I would like to add the following commentary: Whether you are young or older, male or female, maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes good nutrition, routine exercise, and regular chiropractic adjustments can benefit the entire body and help to maintain your fitness level and balance acuity as you age.
Look for research study results in the only July issue of American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
Source: Health Behavior News Service