Leisure-Time Physical Activity Linked to Lower Odds of Falls

Odds of noninjurious and injurious falls reduced for women with activity at or above the WHO recommended level
Leisure-Time Physical Activity Linked to Lower Odds of Falls
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

MONDAY, Feb. 5, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Participation in leisure-time physical activity at the recommended level or above is associated with reduced odds of noninjurious and injurious falls, according to a study published online Jan. 31 in JAMA Network Open.

Wing S. Kwok, from the University of Sydney, and colleagues examined the potential associations between leisure-time physical activity and noninjurious and injurious falls in older women using a retrospective analysis of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health (ALSWH). Data were included for 7,139 ALSWH participants, born from 1946 to 1951, who completed follow-up questionnaires in 2016 and 2019.

The researchers observed associations between participation in leisure-time physical activity at or above the World Health Organization-recommended level (150 to <300 minutes/week) and reduced odds of noninjurious falls (odds ratios, 0.74 and 0.66 for 150 to <300 and ≥300 minutes/week, respectively) and injurious falls (corresponding odds ratios, 0.70 and 0.77). The odds of noninjurious falls were reduced for women who reported brisk walking, moderate leisure-time physical activity, or moderate-to-vigorous leisure-time physical activity compared with those who reported no leisure-time physical activity (odds ratios, 0.83, 0.81, and 0.84, respectively). There were no statistically significant associations seen between the type of leisure-time physical activity and injurious falls.

"Our findings suggest support for the widespread promotion of physical activity, including leisure-time physical activity, to reduce the risk of both noninjurious and injurious falls in older women," the authors write.

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