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Fall risk and physical fitness in healthy older population

Author: 
Dhanesh Kumar K. U., Namritha Prabhu and Pooja Pai
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Back ground and objectives: Falls are the major problem associated with old age. Many studies have explored the relationship between falls and physical performance but those studies were focused mainly on the frail elderly having several health problems. Hence it is important to clarify and evaluate the relation between falls and physical fitness in healthy elderly. The aim of this study was to analyze the correlation between the falling risk and physical fitness in healthy elderly and determining the top parameters affecting the fall risk. Methodology: this study was cross sectional design which includes 60 elderly subjects whose mean age was 73.17±5.81 years. All the elderly subjects were selected on the basis of their cognitive function (MMSE.24) and fulfilled the physical fitness criteria as determined by SFT. All healthy subjects then underwent fall risk and balance assessment to evaluate the correlation between fitness, balance and fall risk. Results: A strong positive correlation of BBT and SLST with chair stand, arm curl and 2 min step test was found, but the correlation of BBT and SLST with” 8 foot up-and go test “ were negative. However, no significant correlations of BBT and SLST with chair sit and reach test, back scratch test (p.0.001) was found. The results of regression analysis showed that chair test was the top most parameter of SFT which affects fall risk and balance. Conclusion: Falling risk increases with declining of upper and lower extremity muscle strength, aerobic endurance, agility and dynamic balance performance. Lower extremity strength was most relevant with fall risk and balance. it was concluded that the older persons falling risk, balance and physical fitness level should be evaluated in some intervals .according to their falling risk, balance and physical fitness level, the rehabilitation programmes should be planned.

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