Fall Risk Factors in Older Female Lawn Bowls Players and Controls

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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Fall-risk factors were compared between older women who regularly participate in lawn bowls and controls. Participants were 74 healthy women age 60–75 yr. Postural stability, timed up-and-go score, isometric knee-extensor strength, reaction time, range of motion, and calcaneal broadband ultrasonic attenuation (BUA) were assessed. Bowlers and controls were similar in regard to mean age, height, and weight. Regular bowlers had significantly lower timed up-and-go times, reaction times, and sway while standing on a compliant surface. They had significantly higher knee-extensor strength, range of motion at ankle and shoulder, and calcaneal BUA. Although targeted strength and balance training might be necessary in treatment of the physical frailty that can contribute to falls and fractures in older people, it is possible that long-term participation in activity such as lawn bowls could help prevent this frailty.

The authors are with the Dept. of Human Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough, LEICS, LE11 3TU UK.

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