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Written by Grace Rattue
Copyright: Medical News Today via Medical News Today
Each year around 1 million individuals fall - with winter officially here, take precautions in order to avoid falling on slippery sidewalks. Approximately 20,000 adults die every year as a result of fall-related injuries according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Furthermore, around 15% of job-site accidents are due to injuries from falls, amounting to nearly 15% of all workers' compensation costs.
Mike Ross, author of "The Balance Manual" and exercise physiologist at Gottlieb Center for Fitness, part of the Loyola University Health System, explained: "Many falls can be successfully avoided or the impact minimized by applying a few basic strategies."
At Gottlieb, Ross teaches individuals, mainly those over 50 years, balance classes year-round. As individuals age, unavoidable bodily changes might affect the persons' safety. Ross states: "Balance deteriorates as we get older due to the weakening of muscles and change in sensory perception, especially in the ear structure." The brain and inner ear primarily determine equilibrium, or balance.
"As we age, our eardrums often thicken and the bones in the middle ear and other structures are affected. It often becomes increasingly difficult to maintain balance. Aging also breaks down cells in the nervous system, which can often result in a delay in reflexes that can lead to susceptibility to injury."
In order to take control and prevent injuries from falls, Ross provides eight tips how to avert slips and falls this winter.
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