Characteristics of falls in physically active community-dwelling older people Academic Article uri icon


  • Falls are common in physically active older people due to their increased exposure to hazardous situations. However, most studies of the characteristics and circumstances of falls are based on frail older people.To describe the location, time, cause, injuries and medical treatment associated with falls in a physically active group of older people.Prospective falls data over a 12-month period were obtained from 293 people (163 men and 130 women) aged between 70 and 90 years who took part in the "Standfest im Alter" study, a randomized controlled trial conducted in Erlagen, Germany.During the study period, there were 322 falls. 122 participants (42%) fell at least once and 62 (21%) fell on multiple occasions. The typical fall occurred outside the home during leisure activities, at midday or in the afternoon and did not result in injury or admission to hospital. There were no differences in the rate of falls according to gender; however, fall location, time of fall, fall injury and visits to the doctor after the fall were all influenced by gender.The results of this study provide useful insights into the characteristics and circumstances of falls in physically active older people living in the community, which may assist with the development of future falls prevention activities.

publication date

  • August 2006

has subject area