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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1990 Sep;71(10):739-41.

Falls in the elderly: Part II, Balance, strength, and flexibility.

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Biomechanics Laboratory, Ball State University, Muncie, IN 47306.


The purpose of this study was to determine and compare the balance, muscular strength, and flexibility of two groups of elderly adults: one with a history of falls (HF) and one with no history of falls (NHF). Subjects were 19 men and 36 women. Static and dynamic balance was determined by a one-foot stance balance test and a backwards walking test. Hip, knee, and ankle joint muscular strength were assessed on a Cybex Leg Press Dynamometer. A goniometer was used to determine hip, knee, and ankle joint range of motion (flexibility), ANOVA indicated a significant difference between the two groups for static balance (p less than .001), leg strength (p less than .01), and hip and ankle flexibility (p less than .01). The results suggest that balance, leg strength, and flexibility may be factors contributing to falls in the elderly.

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