Daily Bicycling in Older Adults May be Effective to Reduce Fall Risks—A Case-Control Study

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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Older adults gain many health benefits from riding bicycles regularly. We aimed to explore whether older persons who ride bicycles regularly have better balance than controls. Balance control and voluntary stepping were assessed in 20 older adults aged 65–85 years who live in an agricultural community village and who ride bicycles regularly, and 30 age- and gender-matched nonbicycle riders (NBR). Self-reported function and fear of fall were also assessed. Bicycle riders (BR) showed significantly better balance, faster voluntary stepping, and better self-reported advanced lower-extremity function compared with NBR. The results might suggest that bicycling regularly preserves balance control and speed of voluntary stepping in older adults because bicycling might maintain specific balance coordination patterns. The results should be treated with caution as bicycle riders were older adults who selected an active lifestyle (i.e., bicycling as well as living in an agricultural village) that may bias the results.

Batcir and Melzer are with the Schwartz Rehabilitation and Movement Analysis Laboratory, Physical Therapy Dept., Recanati School for Community Health Professions, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel.

Address author correspondence to Itshak Melzer at itzikm@bgu.ac.il.
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