Journal of Physical Activity Research
ISSN (Print): 2576-1919 ISSN (Online): 2574-4437 Website: http://www.sciepub.com/journal/jpar Editor-in-chief: Peter Hart
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Journal of Physical Activity Research. 2022, 7(1), 68-73
DOI: 10.12691/jpar-7-1-10
Open AccessArticle

Most Falls of Active Elderly People are not Caused by Decreases in Physical Function

Takayoshi Yamada1, and Shinichi Demura2

1Faculty of Education, Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Fukui, Fukui, Japan

2Department of Human Science, Kanazawa University, Kanazawa, Japan

Pub. Date: April 05, 2022

Cite this paper:
Takayoshi Yamada and Shinichi Demura. Most Falls of Active Elderly People are not Caused by Decreases in Physical Function. Journal of Physical Activity Research. 2022; 7(1):68-73. doi: 10.12691/jpar-7-1-10

Abstract

Several healthy, community-dwelling elderly people who live independently experience falls. However, their falls are not always attributed to decreased physical function. We aimed to examine the cause of falls in active elderly people. They were divided into fallers (n = 49) and non-fallers (n = 170) based on their fall experience during the previous year. The subjects participated in the following tests: transferring velocity during the sit-to-stand, one-leg stand time, functional reach, 10-m maximal walking time, muscle strength (foot grip, ankle plantar flexion, hip flexion, knee extension strength), systemic reaction time, agility stepping, and maximal side step length after completing the ADL questionnaire, fall risk assessment sheet, fall risk profile from Demura et al, and life-space assessment sheet. No significant differences were observed in physical functions, which were the basis of fall prevention (muscle strength, balance, and gait) and fall avoidance (systemic reactions, agility stepping, and maximal side step length) between both groups. A significant difference was observed in the ADL score but not between both fall risk scores, and the Life-Space Assessment scores. Moreover, no significant differences were observed between the high risk ratio for falls and nursing care based on each questionnaire. In conclusion, the differences in physical function and fall risk factors between the fallers and non-fallers in active, independent elderly people living in the community were not observed. The cause of these falls (22.4%) was not attributed to physical function decreases or other fall risk factors. These may mainly depend on accidents resulting from high activity.

Keywords:
physical activity fall cause accidental falls elderly physical function

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