Staying safely upright seems like something we do without thinking, but as we age we need to pay extra attention to maintaining our balance.
When Jean was in her mid 40s, she fell in the park running after her 10-year-old son as she’d stepped on uneven ground and lost her footing. The accident landed her in hospital with a broken ankle, leading to surgery and weeks on crutches. Like many women, Jean thought balance problems only happened to frail seniors, but the fact is they can affect anyone from their 40s onwards. Plenty can be done to improve your balance and reduce fall risks, as it’s never too early (or too late) to start.
In Good Balance
In standing, the body is unstable – with a small base relative to its height – so remaining steady as we move around is challenging. We do this successfully thanks to our vision, vestibular system (inner ear) and somatosensory system (sensation feedback from joints and muscles) – which provide information about our bodies and the environment. Our brains orchestrate these systems and prompt our muscles to respond, so we can stand on one leg to put stockings on or stay steady on a bus.
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