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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2010 Oct;58(10):1946-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2010.03059.x. Epub 2010 Sep 9.

Trail-walking exercise and fall risk factors in community-dwelling older adults: preliminary results of a randomized controlled trial.

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Department of Human Health Sciences, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan.



To evaluate the effects of a trail-walking exercise (TWE) program on the rate of falls in community-dwelling older adults.


Pilot randomized controlled trial (RCT).


This trial was conducted in Japan and involved community-dwelling older adults as participants.


Sixty participants randomized into a TWE group (n=30) and a walking (W) group (n=30).


Exercise class combined with multicomponent trail walking program, versus exercise class combined with simple indoor walking program.


Measurement was based on the difference in fall rates between the TWE and W groups.


Six months after the intervention, the incidence rate ratio (IRR) of falls for the TWE group compared with the W group was 0.20 (95% confidence interval (CI)=0.04-0.91); 12 months after the intervention, the IRR of falls for the TWE group compared with the W group was 0.45 (95% CI=0.16-1.77).


The results of this pilot RCT suggest that the TWE program was more effective in improving locomotion and cognitive performance under trail-walking task conditions than walking. In addition, participants who took part in the TWE demonstrated a decrease in the incidence rate of falls 6 months after trial completion. Further confirmation is needed, but this preliminary result may promote a new understanding of accidental falls in older adults.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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