According to a piece in this weeks New Scientist – research in Australia is using a harness and booby trapped obstacle course to train older people as a falls prevention measure, the piece at www.newscientist.com explains that results show a 50% reduction in vulnerability to falls. This is an important factor since the article states that “One-third of people over the age of 65 fall every year,”
The article goes on the suggest that “research is increasingly showing that exercises that challenge balance and involve lots of movement work best for preventing falls. These should ideally begin before older people have their first fall,”
This reminds me very much of the Tai Chi practice we do in our classes with balance and walking exercises and co-responds to findings by the World Health Organisation in their report which mentions the benefits of Tai Chi, Yoga and Dance in an active aging process. A theme further developed in this piece from the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health.
Tai Chi has long been recognised as an exercise for life and beneficial into later years – especially if practice is begun before age related physical deterioration leads to vulnerability – for example around the age of 50.