Older people asked to get physical for research into falls

Date 3.07.2017

Older people in Northamptonshire are being asked to help researchers understand what exercises can make them stronger by taking part in a University of Northampton study.

Study organisers hope that by working with local people aged 60 or over they can help establish what exercises can improve muscle quality and strength in their legs. Increases in these areas can help reduce the risk of suffering a fall.

As we get older, we generally have more difficulty walking and consequently take less exercise which can reduce muscle strength and balance, increasing the risk of falling.

The study begins on 17 July and will run for eight weeks. Researchers are looking for over 60’s who have no current lower limb muscle injuries and who can visit our Park Campus twice a week to take part in the exercises for the full duration of the study.

Tony Kay, Associate Professor of Biomechanics at the University of Northampton and who is leading on the study, said: “Injuries from falls are the number one reason older people are admitted to hospital.

And as we get older, we are more susceptible to falling, particularly when we have less control or confidence in our body’s ability to move.

“Falls are associated with decreases in strength, muscle mass and balance, a natural part of the ageing process. For this study, we are looking at what exercises help older people in improve these areas of their physicality.

“We are looking at lower impact exercises so you do not need to be supermen or wonder women. Local people who match the criteria outlined here should come along to the university to take part in this important study.”

For more information, email Tony.Kay@northamptonshire.ac.uk or call 01604 92577.

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