Weekly Pilates Training Proven To Reduce Risk of Falling For Older Adults

Updated: Jan 21

As Little as Once Per Week Pilates Training Reduces The Risk Of Falling in Older Adults

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Are you over the age of sixty-five? Did you know estimates predict that up to one-third of all adults over 65 will have a fall each year, with many of those falls resulting in severe injury, accruing high cost (time off of work and medical expenses), and limits in regular activity?


In a recent research study conducted at California State University, Northridge, Pilates reformer training was up for evaluation.


In a randomized study, 55 men and women, with an average mean age of 77, were either assigned to a Pilates reformer training group or a control group. The control group had no lifestyle change, while the Pilates group participated in a 1-Hour group reformer class once/week for ten weeks.


The researchers theorized that Pilates reformer training could improve an older adult's static (non-moving) and dynamic (in-movement) balance, increase functional mobility and balance confidence and reduce the risk of falls in older adults identified as being at risk of falls.


To effectively measure the outcome of adding 1x/week Pilates training in the Pilates control group, researchers first had to test and measure their original


  • balance

  • postural control

  • balance confidence

  • functional mobility


Each of these tests was re-administered again at the end of the ten weeks.


What the researchers learned was the following.


With as little as once per week pilates reformer training, the pilates control group showed a significant improvement in all the tests, and therefore effectively reduced the risks of falling.


The researchers also made a note that because of cost and access to the Pilates equipment are factors that may prevent people from taking reformer classes; it was one of the considerations into why only 1x/week training was selected.


When the Pilates control group was intereviewed, many stated that they felt the improvements in balance and their self-efficacy in lower body range of motion stability and mobility. More interestingly, many reported that they thought their gains would be even more substantial had they participated in a second session per week (2x/week).


While this study is not as broad and long to claim that Pilates can prevent falls in older adults, it shows a supportive correlation. Hopefully, more research will continue to show that with as little as once/week training, Pilates can play a significant impact in helping reduce the risk of falling in adults aged 65+.


Here at PainFree Posture MN, we specialize in rehab focused Pilates instruction, and have thousands of hours training adults over the age of 55.


Private Pilates instruction is a great investment as programming can be adapted for each individual's unique needs. Sessions focus on core stability, increased strength, endurance, flexibility, improved posture, movement and breathing mechanics.


We'd LOVE the opportunity to train you! Contact Coach Deb to book your first session.

We're in this together; I'm here to help.



You can follow Deb on Facebook, Twitterand LinkedIn, or subscribe to her YouTube, or Instagram pages. Stock Photo Credit: Shutterstock.comHead Photo Credit: Melissa Thome Photography Author: Deb Preachuk, BRS, BPE, CF-L1, Pn-1, is a Comprehensive Certified STOTT Pilates Instructor, Level 2 Foundation Training Instructor, TBMM Corrective Exercise & Posture Alignment Specialist, and the founder/owner of Pain Free Posture MN.   In addition to running PainFree Posture MN, Deb is an Orangetheory Fitness Coach and teaches regularly at the Apple Valley, and Shakopee, MN locations.






References:


1. Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies (2018: DOI:10.1016/jbmt.2017.09/004)

2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30368346

3. Marcelo De M N. Benefits of the Pilates Method in Preventing Elderly Falls. J Phy Fit Treatment & Sports .2018; 4(1): 555630 DOI: 10.19080/JPFMTS.2018.04.555630


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