Pilates practice and elderly women

Does it help reducing the fall risk factors?

Falls are one of the most common geriatric syndromes. They are often associated with comorbidities and can lead to various disabilities, increased morbidity and important economical and medical costs in terms of management.

Several studies identified modifiable and non-modifiable fall risk factors: balance confidence, fear of falling and postural control are particularly linked to balance troubles and falling. These factors can drastically limit physical and daily activities as well as function, further increasing the risk of falling through a vicious circle leading to higher dependence and mortality.

Evidence has shown that physical exercise interventions are beneficial for the prevention of falls as they can positively influence the modifiable risk factors. Several types of exercises have been studied, including the Pilates method which is a body-mind exercises technique based on six key principles: centreing, concentration, precision, control, breathing and flow.

This method has been proposed as a suitable and efficient way to prevent falls for older adults, but research in this area remains limited. Therefore, the present study assessed the effects of Pilates exercises on psychological fall risk factors (balance confidence and fear of falling) and postural control among women over 60.

The authors found that a Pilates training programme provides beneficial and positive effects on these three risk factors in elderly women.


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