Experts from Northumbria University looking at how exercise can play a role in helping prevent injuries in older people

Older people in the North East suffering from sight problems are participating in a major study looking at how exercises can help to prevent falls.
Falls are the most prominent reason for admission to hospital for accidental injury and cost the NHS approximately £4.6 billion per annum.
Older people with poor vision are at a much higher risk of falling. Some older people also report suffering from a fear of falling which impacts on their lives and their ability to participate in activities.
The study, which is funded by National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), is being led by Northumbria University in collaboration with Newcastle, Manchester and Glasgow Caledonian Universities as well as several charitable organisations.
The researchers will work with visually impaired older people to develop an exercise programme using strength and balance techniques to help to prevent falls.
The study will be based in Newcastle and Glasgow using participants aged over 60 who attend a low vision clinic or are a member of a society for the visually impaired.
Nicola Adams, a Professor of Rehabilitation at Northumbria University, explained: “Fear of falling is a real and frightening prospect for older people, particularly those with poor vision. However, many falls are preventable.
“Research has shown that following a fall, older people restrict their activities rather than suffer the consequences, both physical and psychological, that they associate with a fall. This can lead to a vicious spiral of decline in their strength, mobility and balance meaning they are actually at increased risk of falling in future.
“Participation in exercise can help to build confidence, as well as ensuring that people are fitter and healthier and this can, in turn, help to prevent falls……….
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Source: Chronicle Live