Is Good Physical Balance the Key to a Good Life?

When people think about improving their physical fitness, they often overlook the issue of balance. That’s a critical oversight. Good balance is an integral part of being physically fit and key to living a long life, according to research. It’s an important issue for everyone, no matter your age.

Older adults are most affected by poor balance. Falls are the leading cause of injury and death for those 65 and older, with nearly 30% in this age group reporting at least one fall in 2018, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But younger adults frequently stumble, too. Forty-eight percent of young adults reported falling at least once during one 16-week study. The tumbles most commonly occurred during walking and sports activities, with female participants in the study reporting more falls and fall-related injuries than males.

Falls within the previous two years were reported by 18% of young adults (ages 20 to 45) in another study published in the journal BMC Public Health. That figure compared with 21% of middle-aged adults (46 to 65) reporting falls and 35% of those over 65. While falls among young adults often correlated to participation in sports, stumbles by the middle-aged group were typically related to health issues and physiological changes.

Excerpted from KION 46

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