Bone FractureElderlyExercise

Review: Otago exercise program to reduce falls in the elderly

Approximately 35% of people over 65 fall each year, with this figure rising to 50% in those aged 80 and over.

Researchers at the University of South Australia, in Adelaide, reviewed the value of this strength and balance retraining program to reduce the risk of death and falls.

First, the details.

  • 7 studies involving 1503 community-dwelling older adults were included in the review.
  • The average age of participants was 82 years.
  • Risk of death, number of falls, number of injurious falls, and compliance to the exercise program were reviewed.

And, the results.

  • The Otago exercise program significantly reduced the risk of death over 12 months, and significantly reduced fall rates.
  • There was no significant difference in the risk of a serious or moderate injury occurring as the result of a fall.
  • After 1 year, adherence to the exercise program at least 3 times per week was 37%.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “The Otago exercise program significantly reduces the risk of death and falling in older community-dwelling adults.”

A detailed description of the Otago exercise program is here.

10/21/10 19:18 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.