Another great reason to practice Tai Chi!
"TORONTO - Falls among seniors are a major cause of disability and
death, but knowing what led to a split-second fall can often be
difficult to figure out after a person is found sprawled on the ground.
researchers used strategically placed video cameras in long-term care
facilities to capture spills among residents so they could analyze the
mechanics of various falls, with the goal of improving prevention.
known for a long time that falls are the number 1 cause of injury in
older adults, including 90 per cent of hip fractures and 60 per cent of
head injuries. They're also the number 1 cause of injury-related
deaths," said Stephen Robinovitch, a researcher at Simon Fraser
University who specializes in injury prevention and mobility
"So there's been a great deal of research focusing
on the cause of falls, prevention of falls and fall-related injuries,"
Robinovitch, who led the study published in this week's issue of the
Lancet, said from Burnaby, B.C. "But really up until now, we've had no
objective evidence on how and why these events occur."
To get a
better sense of what happens when someone takes a tumble, researchers
set up video cameras in hallways, public dining halls and lounges in two
B.C. long-term care residences. They analyzed recordings of 227 falls
involving 130 individuals, separating the falls into three stages:
initiation, descent and impact.
"So what we found was that about
20 per cent of falls were due to trips and 10 per cent were due to being
bumped or nudged by someone else, or hit by a door closing," he said.
the remaining 70 per cent — and the reason why we think falls are so
common in this population of frailer individuals in long-term care —
they basically occurred during a failed attempt at performing daily
activities like walking, sitting down and even just standing quietly.
they were most often due to what we call incorrect weight shifting," he
said, explaining that the person leaned too far past their centre of
gravity, losing their base of support between the feet and the ground.