According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly two million seniors over the age of 65 are treated in the emergency room for non-fatal falls each year. This said, it is not surprising that many older adults limit their activities out of fear of falling. While this fear is understandable, new research has found that seniors who limit their activities may actually cause their physical functioning to deteriorate.
In a study of 673 adults over the age of 65, researchers found that those who limited their daily activity out of fear of falling were more likely to decrease their physical functioning over a three-year period. In addition, those who avoided common daily activities, such as walking outdoors and visiting friends, were more likely to have difficulty conducting more complex daily activities like gardening and grocery shopping.
Deshpande N, et al. (2008). Activity restriction induced by fear of falling and objective and subjective measures of physical function: A prospective cohort study. Journal of the American Geriatric Society, 56, 615-20.