FRIDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- A specific type of yoga may help improve stability and balance in women over age 65, possibly helping them to avoid falls, a preliminary study reports.
After nine weeks of participating in an Iyengar yoga program designed for senior citizens, 24 elderly females had a faster stride, an increased flexibility in the lower extremities, an improved single-leg stance and increased confidence in walking and balance, according to the findings of researchers at Temple University's Gait Study Center.
The researchers, scheduled to present their findings Friday at the Gait and Clinical Movement Analysis Society's annual meeting in Richmond, Va., suggested that improving balance and stability through yoga could help reduce the risk of falling.
"We were very impressed at the progress our participants made by the end of the program," principal investigator Dr. Jinsup Song, director of the Gait Study Center, said in a prepared statement.
"Subjects demonstrated improved muscle strength in lower extremities, which helps with stability. There was also a pronounced difference in how pressure was distributed on the bottom of the foot, which helps to maintain balance."
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that falls are the leading cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma among people aged 65 and older. Almost a third of older adults suffer some type of fall each year, the CDC reported.
Very interesting. I have also seen similar studies being performed on Tai Chi Chuan which also have shown significant benefits in preventing falls in elderly patients.
It seems that these similar forms of physical activity, such as yoga, tai chi and pilates all seem to have similar benefits. I feel it is largely due to the fact that they work the core muscles which are vital for mainenance of balance.
May I ask where you sourced the research from? I would love to check out the site to see if there is any interesting research regarding Tai Chi. Being a Tai chi instructor myself, and having done yoga in the past I am always on the look out for valuable research that validates the benefits of these wonderful exercise forms.
Yes, yoga is great and you don't even need to master a posture to benefit from it.
Wrong. You need to do yoga correctly. when you do it correctly you automatically master it. Which Yoga practice do you say to support your argument? From my experience of teaching Yoga, doing it correctly is the key to benefiting from yoga. I have seen many people doing things wrong but too many times. They think doing Yoga in any way but for a huge number of times will get them results fast.
For Americans 65 years or older, there is no greater threat to their lives than a devastating fall. Each year, nearly 40% of elderly adults fall at least once and either suffers injury, decreased independence or death as a result.
Falls need not be from high locations or within dangerous environments in order to be injurious. Most falls occur at home or in the nursing home environment while the person is conducting regularly activities of daily life. Things that were once commonplace, such as showering or walking around furniture, can become hazardous for the aging population without the appropriate accommodations.