In older men, regular exercise has been found to reduce the risk of falls that lead to serious health complications and negatively impact their quality of life. Study author Dr. Thomas Gill said, “The physical activity program was more effective in reducing the rate of serious fall injuries in men than in women.”
The study included over 1,600 inactive men and women aged 70 to 89, who were either assigned to a long-term, moderate exercise routine or a health education program. Exercise activities included walking, flexibility training, stretching, and balance training.
When both groups were compared, men had a 38 percent reduction in falls if they were in the moderate exercise group. Furthermore, they had a 53 percent reduction of fall-related fractures and 59 percent lower risk of fall injuries requiring hospitalization.
For women in the exercise group, they did not achieve the same benefits as the men.
Men’s physical activity levels were boosted greater than women’s, and their gait, mobility, and muscle strength also improved more, compared to the women.
Gill concluded, “The results from the current study support continued evaluation of the physical activity program for possible widespread implementation in the community.”