Falls and Balance – Posture for Fall Prevention
Posture, Falls and Balance
People with good posture are not only healthier and more active, but poor posture also has a dramatic effect on another growing problem facing older adults: falls due to poor balance .
According to the National Safety Council, over 1.5 million people over 65 are seriously injured each year in falls, which cause nearly 14,000 deaths, with another quarter suffering debilitating injuries that affect them for the rest of their lives. In addition, poor posture affects how well your heart can pump blood, and even how well you can breathe.
Almost 1/3 of people over the age of 65 experiences a fall each year, and the number rises significantly as people get older. Statistics show that more than half of the population over 80 will experience a fall in the course of a year. Unfortunately, once someone has experienced a fall, they are two to three times more likely to fall again.
Falls are the cause of 25% of all hospital admissions, and 40% of all nursing home admissions. 40% of older adults admitted for care due to a fall are not able to return to independent living; and more alarmingly, it’s been reported that 25% die within a year. Falls are considered the leading cause of death due to injury among the elderly.
Because a fall can lead to traumatic injuries, people who experience loss of balance and a fall often begin to avoid and reduce activity for fear of falling again. Unfortunately, this avoidance of activity can subsequently lead to weaker muscles, less endurance, adapted posture, and compromised stability, ultimately making the person even more likely to experience another fall.
Fall Prevention & Improving Balance
Posture, falls and balance are connected. There are things you can do to change the odds. Getting help after experiencing a fall improves the chance of survival by about 80% and will increase the likelihood of returning to independent living, and normal daily activities. Improving posture, awareness, balance and activity levels can also reduce the risk of falls. Making a change begins with becoming aware of our posture, retraining our motion patterns, and then developing new habits.
The common bent over posture of old age occurs as a result of the body adapting to long-term poor posture. Injuries and age cause the joints to stiffen and the muscles to tighten. As posture becomes more bent forward the muscles have to work harder to keep the body balanced, which makes the muscles progressively tighter.
StrongPosture® exercises teach control and balance. When we start to fall, we can say we have bad balance, or we can see it is a way of learning where our inside reality and the outside reality disagree. Being conscious of a problem is the first step to change. Incorporating the systematized StrongPosture® program into your routine in just a few minutes each day will set you on a path to strengthening balance, alignment, and motion. Over time you’ll be surprised not only at the difference in how you feel, but even how others see you.
The bottom line is, when you keep moving you, feel good and age well.