6 Tips To Reduce Falls At Home

I have fallen down the steps twice - once when I was in physical therapy school and once after I was married but before we had kids.

 

The first time I fell was because I was in a hurry so I was running down the stairs between the floors in my graduate housing apartment complex. Racing down any stairs can be dangerous but try doing that while also looking through your mail to make sure you put stamps on the envelopes!

 

Not a good idea!

 

As I looked at the last envelope, I thought I was on the landing to the next set of stairs and I missed the last step. I fell crashing down with my backpack on top of me and my envelopes all scattered about. Despite the pain, I hobbled my way to my physical therapy class. The lesson for the day was gait abnormalites and I was now the lead candidate for everyone to observe my antalgic gait pattern! Not fun! My left ankle was swollen like a tennis ball and very painful. I did receive the nice benefit of electrical stimulation and ice...

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What A Baby And Usain Bolt Have In Common

If you have ever watched a baby learning to walk, you can see them struggle to learn how to coordinate their balance for hands and knees crawling to walking on two feet. They typically pull themselves up by grabbing on to furniture or people to steady themselves. The name “toddler” implies toddling around as they continue to get a feel for walking.

 

Contrast the image of a baby learning to walk with an Olympic runner like Usain Bolt from Jamaica. This elite athlete has advanced his balance to a level where he propelled himself forward at speed so fast in 2009 that he broke the 100 meter dash record in 9.58 seconds. 

 

The image of the baby learning to walk and Usain Bolt crossing the finish line may seem like extreme opposites but they have one thing in common: BALANCE.

 

Both the baby and the sprinter must develop balance to propel themselves forward. The baby is at the beginning stages of developing balance when they are first learning how to pull...

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How Fast Can You Stand Up and Sit Down?

Seriously?

Yes, I am purposely asking, “How Fast Can You Stand Up and Sit Down 5 Times?

Make sure to time yourself with a stopwatch.

My time was 9 seconds. What is yours?

Now, the next question is, “Why am I asking this?

I ask because a recent study shows that people who cannot perform this test in less than 12 seconds, are less likely to be able to walk 6000 steps per day.

A good walking goal to strive for is 10,000 steps per day. If you can walk 10,000 steps per day – the equivalent of walking approximately 5 miles per day – then you are less likely to be inactive.

Inactivity can lead to weight gain and joint stiffness. Obesity-related illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis, and some types of cancer are on the rise in America. Therefore, having the ability to walk 6,000-10,000 steps per day is an important part of a healthy lifestyle.

Why else is the Five Times Sit-To-Stand Test so important?

Because if it takes you >16...

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Why Standing Like a Stork Isn’t About Looking Goofy

Did you know that in 2014, seven million injuries were caused by older Americans experiencing 29 million falls?

Did you know that these falls contributed to approximately $31 billion in annual Medicare costs?

It is absolutely TRUE that standing like a stork on 1 leg is critical to your health!

If you cannot stand on 1 leg for more than 15-30 seconds, then you have a balance problem.

If you cannot stand on 1 leg for more than 15-30 seconds, then you are at risk for falling which makes you at risk for injury.

Even if you don’t consider yourself an “older adult” who belongs in some statistical group, you will want to consider practicing standing on one leg so that as you age you don’t lose this strength and balance skill.

When I see patients of all ages fail to be able to stand on 1 leg for 15-30 seconds, I immediately ask myself, “why?”

  • Is their hip weak and causing them to drop their pelvis?
  • Have they suffered multiple ankle sprains and...
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