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Exercise to Music: Piano is Key to Fewer Falls


October 14, 2014

According to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, elderly individuals who participated in a six month study showed improved balance, and a reduction in both the rate of falls and the risk of falling. The study involved older people living in a community setting over the age of 65, and was based upon the conceit that most at risk individuals fall while walking and/or engaged in concurrent activities. Translation: doing two things at once places those most prone to falling at greater risk. Those involved in the study were trained slowly to exercise and move to the music, thereby acclimating their body control to unpredictable patterns, while the control group merely exercised normally. Those exercising with music experienced nearly 100% less falls as a group when compared to those in the control.

The study showed "that participation in music-based multitask exercise classes once a week over a 6-month period can improve gait performance under single and cognitive-motor, dual-task conditions, as well as improve balance, and reduce both the rate of falls and the risk of falling in at-risk elderly community-dwelling adults," the authors conclude. "Our findings suggest that this program may be useful for fall prevention and rehabilitation in community-based setting such as senior centers."

http://archinte.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/171/6/525

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