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WSU Newsline: Change in balance leads to falls for aging adults
Wednesday, February 2, 2011 8:00 AM

The scripts are available for printing and for sound bite identification.

Go to http://www.wichita.edu/newsline to get the current Wichita State University Newsline. If you cannot access the Newsline at the Web address above, contact Joe Kleinsasser at (316) 978-3013 or cell (316) 204-8266 or joe.kleinsasser@wichita.edu.

Newsline cuts may be edited to suit your needs. If you have additional questions for Rogers after listening to the WSU Newsline, please call him at (316) 978-3340 or michael.rogers@wichita.edu.

Background:
Aging brings many challenges. One of those is keeping our balance. Wichita State University exercise scientist Michael Rogers explains why balance is so critical as we age.

Voice wrap:
Announcer: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, unintentional falls among those 65 and older are responsible for more than 18,000 deaths and nearly 450,000 hospitalizations annually in the United States. Wichita State University exercise scientist Michael Rogers expects those numbers to rise.

Rogers: "We're currently undergoing a dramatic increase in the number of people over the age of 65 in the United States, primarily due to the baby boom generation. Currently there's approximately 13 percent of our population that are over the age of 65, and this is going to increase to nearly 20 percent by the year 2025."

Announcer: Rogers says we often take balance for granted and don't become aware of any limitations until after we fall. One unique aspect of balance training is that it can be done anytime, anyplace. In fact, you can even perform balance exercises while brushing your teeth. This is Joe Kleinsasser at Wichita State University.

Sound bite #1
Rogers talks about the number of people over age 65 who fall each year. The sound bite is 14 seconds and the outcue is "and it goes unreported."

Rogers: "Approximately one-third of individuals over the age of 65 fall each year, and many of those individuals fall more than once per year. Those are just the ones that are reported. Certainly there are many more older adults who do fall, and it goes unreported."

Sound bite #2
Rogers says that until recently, we've focused more on other health issues for older adults. The sound bite is 15 seconds and the outcue is "to improve balance."

Rogers: "From an exercise standpoint we have long focused on the cardiovascular benefits of physical activity, and over the last couple of decades, more on the benefits of strength training, particularly for older adults. The problem is we have not focused on balance or developed programs appropriate to improve balance."

Sound bite #3
Rogers talks about some of the difficulty in addressing balance through exercise. The sound bite is 10 seconds and the outcue is "and muscular strength."

Rogers: "One of the difficulties in addressing balance through exercise is the multiple systems we have to cover and address, including vision, dizziness and muscular strength."

Sound bite #4
Rogers says balance training can be done anytime and anyplace. The sound bite is 11 seconds and the outcue is "brushing your teeth."

Rogers: "One of the unique aspects of balance training is that we can do it anytime, anyplace. We don't have to go to a gym. We don't have to go outside. You can perform balance exercises while you're brushing your teeth."

Sound bite #5
Rogers says it's a good idea to start balance training in your 40s and 50s. The sound bite is 15 seconds and the outcue is "in the first place."

Rogers: "We often take balance for granted and don't become aware of any limitations until after we suffer a fall. The important thing is to start balance training earlier — say, for example, in your 40s or 50s — to help prevent a fall from occurring in the first place."

Sound bite #6
Rogers suggests several exercises that can help you improve balance. The sound bite is 15 seconds and the outcue is "improving your balance."

Rogers: "There's a variety of different exercises that you can do to improve balance. Examples of those would be to stand on one foot. If that is too difficult, put one foot slightly in front of the other. Or, for example, brushing your teeth with your eyes closed is an effective way to improving your balance."

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Contact: Michael Rogers, (316) 978-3340 or michael.rogers@wichita.edu.