A pilot study conducted in New Jersey tested the safety and feasibility of modified chair-yoga on functional outcome among elderly at risk for falls. Eligible participants, over 65, were from an assisted living community. All had a fall in the past six months. The staff identified them as having an increased fear of falling and therefore an increased risk of falls.
The authors conclude that yoga is a “feasible and safe intervention for elderly seniors who may be at risk in their ninth and tenth decades of life.” However, more research with extended programs is needed.
The study published in the International Journal of Yoga, Volume 5, Issue 2, 2012, pages 146-150, states:
“Falls are among the most common problems affecting older adults. At least 50% of those over 80 fall annually. The goal of this pilot study was to assess the safety and feasibility of structured yoga in an elderly population with fall risk…A chair-based yoga program was provided twice a week for 8 weeks.”
|Table 1: Yoga class structure and components|
Sedentary life style, a lack of physical activity, is a significant factor in loss of balance and increased risk of falls. Participating in safe physical activities that increase confidence in mobility will likely decrease fear of falling and improve balance, thereby reducing the risk of falling.
Galantino ML, Green L, DeCesari JA, MacKain NA, Rinaldi SM, Stevens ME, Wurst VR, Marsico R, Nell M, Mao JJ. Safety and feasibility of modified chair-yoga on functional outcome among elderly at risk for falls. Int J Yoga [serial online] 2012 [cited 2012 Oct 1];5:146-50. Available from: http://www.ijoy.org.in/text.asp?2012/5/2/146/98242