A recent study conducted by researchers from Indiana University looked at what effect age and physical activity had on lower leg muscle strength, and if this impacts individuals' everyday lives.
The researchers studied two groups, 14 people between 20 and 25 years old, and another group aged 65 and older. They found physical activity and strengthening lower leg muscles can contribute to a lifetime of enhanced coordination.
"The results of this study suggest that participation in physical activity contributes to greater crossed-spinal reflex stability in both young and elderly subjects," said exercise scientist Rachel Ryder, a visiting research associate in the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington. "In other words, the two lower legs maintain stable muscular communication patterns, which could contribute to better coordination of muscles across the right and left side of the body. The lack of this coordination or stability could exacerbate fall risk in older, sedentary subjects."
Fall prevention is key for aging seniors, as one-third of individuals over 65 are expected to fall each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Often times, these falls result in injury and the senior will need help from a caregiver or home health care professional to conduct daily tasks.
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