Authors of a new study on preventing the elderly from falling suggest the ancient Chinese practice of Tai Chi could help.
The group tested the efficacy of different activity regimens in adults 70 or older with at least one previous fall.
The 670 adults included in the study were randomly assigned to one of three different exercise groups — stretching, strength and agility exercises, and a modified version of Tai Chi.
At the end of the six-month study period, older adults routinely doing Tai Chi had 60 per cent lower fall risk than the stretching group, and 31 per cent lower than the strength-agility group.
The adults who practised Tai Chi were also noted to have improved strength and cognitive function relative to the other activity regimens.
The study is in JAMA Internal Medicine.