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Music May Improve Balance in Elderly

It’s never too late to start exercising. While it’s perfectly safe for most seniors to stay active, there are some challenges, including coordination and balance. Music may be all it takes to remedy that. Not just any music, however – piano music.

According to new research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, combining piano-based music with exercise may help improve balance in the elderly.

“Each year, one-third of the population 65 years and older experiences at least one fall, and half of those fall repeatedly,” says Andrea Trombetti, MD, lead researcher of University Hospitals and Faculty of Medicine of Geneva, Switzerland. “Exercise can counteract key risk factors for falls, such as poor balance, and consequently reduce risk of falling in elderly community-dwelling individuals.”

The researchers followed 134 senior citizens who participated in an exercise program that was accompanied by piano-based music. They examined the seniors’ progress in areas such as balance, posture, fall prevention, and the way they walked.

After the first six months, the researchers found that only 24 of the 66 participants who exercised to piano music experienced falls. Comparing that group to those who didn’t exercise to piano music, 54 out of those 68 seniors had fallen before the end of the study.

(via: RTT News)

December 3rd, 2010

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