The importance of strength and balance exercise to prevent falls
41% of over 70s don’t realise how important good strength and balance is to reduce falls, according to new research commissioned by the Centre for Ageing Better. Each year, 30% of people aged 65+ will have a fall, which can result in serious injury. There were 57,712 hip fractures in England in 2014/15, and falls account for over 4 million hospital bed days every year. Maintaining and improving muscle strength and ability to balance is crucial in reducing risk but also critical in helping people live independently as they get older. The research shows that many people in all age groups are confused about what activities help with improving their strength and balance. Heavy gardening jobs such as digging help as well as carrying heavy loads such as groceries counted. Walking was a helpful activity, but in fact moderate or slow walking does not improve muscle strength or balance despite it being good for general health.