It has been suggested integrating exercise into everyday activities may help people stick to it, but this approach has never been investigated in frail older people at risk of falls.
So the researchers compared their own lifestyle intervention with a structured exercise programme performed three times a week using ankle cuff weights and gentle ‘sham’ exercises that acted as the study control.
The participants who had all suffered at least two minor falls or one that caused injury in the past year and were split into the three treatment groups with any falls over a year recorded using daily calendars.
Other measures like static and dynamic balance, ankle, knee and hip strength, daily living activities and quality of life were also measured recognised scales.
The overall incidence of falls in the LiFE programme was 1.66 per person years, compared with 1.90 in the structured programme and 2.28 in the control group.
There was a non-significant reduction in the rate of falls for those in the structured programme compared to the control group.