Physical activity increases adult safety
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranks Oklahoma 11th in the nation for deaths due to unintentional injury, including falls. Extension educators in that state are helping residents increase their physical activity and decrease injuries through exercise programs aimed at improving balance and movement.Nearly 4,000 adults participated in the programs, which included Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balanceprovided by OklahomaExtension. This program features low-impact exercises in group settings to increase balance and mobility. Other programs included Walk with Easeand the Arthritis Foundation Land Exercise.Of the tai chi participants, 88% reported being less afraid of falling because of the program; 85% of Walk with Ease participants said the program has helped reduce their pain, stiffness and fatigue; and85% of the Arthritis Foundation exercise program participants reported better functioning during daily activities.Reducing the risk of falls through programs focused on increasing physical activity can lead to lower health care costs and reduced disability. It also can improve the quality of life for older adults so they can live independently, engage in meaningful work and participate in volunteer activities.