Monday, September 8, 2008

Yoga Prevents Falls for Elderly?

Recently my Grandmother has been complaining about changes in her coordination, she went to see her doctor with the fear that she might fall and get a hip fracture. The doctor gave some meds but she's still experiencing it once in a while despite taking the medication. I read about this new research on how Yoga can help elderly.

Yoga is known for putting body, mind and spirit into balance. Now, researchers say one form of yoga may help prevent the elderly from taking a fall. Balance is crucial for the elderly. One in three people over age 65 fall every year. About 15 thousand seniors die from fall-related injuries. Researchers at Temple University’s School of Podiatric Medicine examined 24 elderly women enrolled in a yoga program. They measured each participant on a special runway equipped with a pressure platform and force plate. The gait lab precisely records foot and leg movement. The women participated in twice weekly classes of Iyengar yoga a class that uses chairs and other props for body placement. After nine weeks, there were significant changes. Participants walked faster and had longer strides. Researchers also noted a change in weight distribution on the womens’ feet -- one that was better for balance. All of these changes potentially offset the loss of coordination as people age. Researchers also found participants stood about one centimeter taller after taking part in the yoga classes. They believe the findings could also help men. They only used women in the study because they are more likely to suffer fall injuries. Longer follow-up studies are needed to confirm their findings.

No comments: