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Dancing to prevent falls in older adults

...a pleasant way to move but is it effective in reducing fall risk?

As worldwide population is ageing and the number of people over 65 years old is increasing, health systems are faced with new issues such as the increase of chronic diseases, geriatric syndroms and especially falls.

Falling is indeed one of the most frequent condition associated with aging. It is not only frightening experience, but it also leads to a number of subsequent consequences that may severely affect old people health and bring them to injuries, disabilities, hospitalisation, placements or even death. Its health and economic burden is very important.

Therefore, it is not surprising that research and prevention actions are developed in this specific field. One of challenges to fight against this syndrome is to address the various factors involved in falling (i.e., balance, movement function, coordination) and especially invite old people to keep on moving despite less motivation or disinterest often found among old people.

Enjoyable and pleasant activities have been indentified as facilitators in this regard and dancing may be an interesting activity mode. Even though earlier reviews confirmed its effects on balance, strength or mobility (all considered as risk factors for falls), they mostly show bias and do not allow for solid conclusions.

The present well-designed RCT, focusing on senior dance as a safe and pleasant way to reduce risks of falling, found out that this activity is effective for older people in improving balance and coordination, but not cognitive function.

 
 

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