Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Perturbation-based Balance Training

Here's a chance to push around an old person and get away with it.

Now it's not entirely clear how these Toronto doctors perturbed their elderly subjects, but Dr. Brian Maki and associates did make it clear that their subjects wore safety harnesses. They were suspended from the ceiling perhaps? The test group was then pushed and pulled about in a challenging and unpredictable manner during a training program. At the end of the study, the tottery oldsters had greatly improved their balance-recovery reactions.

Improved balance control decreases the risk of falling and improves the physical confidence of older individuals. Falls resulting in grave physical injuries such as a fractured hip and pelvis often initiate a downward and ultimately terminal chain of events in the elderly.

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