Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health

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Vol 38 (6 Issues in 2014)
Edited by: Professor John Lowe (Managing Editor), Professor Rod McClure, Professor Alistair Woodward, Dr Priscilla Robinson, Dr Sandra Campbell and Dr Anna Ziersch
Print ISSN: 1326-0200 Online ISSN: 1753-6405
Impact Factor: 1.897

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Medicine & Healthcare

February 11, 2014

Elderly obese have higher risk of falling

Older obese individuals have an increased risk of falling and most believe nothing can be done to prevent it.

This is the finding from a study published in the February issue of Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health.

Rebecca Mitchell and colleagues at Neuroscience Research Australia found that obese individuals had a 31% higher risk of falling, but no higher risk of a fall-related injury than individuals of a healthy weight.

“Obese individuals indicated that they thought nothing could be done to prevent older people falling,” Dr Mitchell said.

“They were also more likely to report being in moderate or extreme pain or discomfort, remain sedentary for more than eight hours a day, to walk less and have problems walking.”

“Both overweight and obese fallers in this study believed that they were not doing enough physical activity.”

“A more active lifestyle and regular weight-bearing exercise could reduce fall risk in this group as well as improving their overall health.”