Last Wednesday The Lancet medical journal reported on the findings of researchers who studied instances of falls in elderly people residing in 2 BC long-term care (LTC) facilities. Videos were captured of 130 residents who had fallen to determine the circumstances around the fall. Of the 227 falls captured on video, 41% were the result of improper weight shifting. The rest of the falls were attributed to stumbling or tripping (21%), bumping into objects, losing support, and collapsing all tied at 11%, and 3% were a result of slipping. Surprisingly, more falls were a result of weight transference than what was assumed. Weight tranference is when the centre of mass is taken outside the base of support. When we are standing still, our centre of mass is directly over our base of support. When there is a disturbence in which the centre of mass oves moves outside the base of support, balance is challenged and if balance is lost, a fall can occur. The researches concluded that by knowing better the circumstances around falls, balance and falls prevention programs can become more targeted and effective.
To your health!
Robinovitch, S. , Feldman, F., and Yang, Y. (2012). Video captre of the circumstances of falls in elderly people residing in long-term care: an observational study, The Lancet, Early Online Publication, 17 October 2012.