Study shows simple foot exercises significantly decrease seniors' risk of falls

Share this content:
Seniors who perform simple ankle and foot exercises a few times per week can noticeably improve their strength and balance, according to recent research.

Researchers at the University of Porto, Portugal, divided 48 facility-dwelling seniors into a control group and an exercise group. The exercise group performed a series of simple ankle and foot flexing exercises in 15-minute sessions three times a week for six weeks. At the end of the trial, researchers tested the two groups and found a marked improvement in the exercise group's mobility and balance. The control group, on the other hand, showed no significant increases in strength, flexibility or mobility.

Loss of mobility in old age is associated with weakening of the lower limbs, researchers say. Such low-tech exercises can improve strength, flexibility and balance, and can be easily implemented at any long-term care or rehabilitation facility, according to researchers. The report appears in the March issue of the journal Geriatrics and Gerontology International.