US panel: Exercise in, vitamin D out for preventing falls
A panel of U.S. experts has changed its guidelines for prevention of falls among elderly.
For starters, get off the sofa. And don't rely on vitamin D to keep you from fallin, WebMD reports.
In a change from its 2012 recommendations, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is recommending against vitamin D supplements for those living at home adults over 65 for preventing falls. A review of existing research showed insufficient evidence to recommend a supplement.
The review and recommendations were published April 17 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
So what does help people prevent falls? Exercise, the task force said.
The strongest evidence is for exercise. If you're at risk of falling, you should think about exercise," said the task force's vice chair, Dr. Alex Krist, from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. He added that about 20 percent of Americans over 65 have a fall each year.
For someone healthy enough, the general physical activity guidelines of 30 minutes of aerobic activity most days of the week, and strength training twice a week, are a good place to start, medical experts comment.
But not everyone over 65 can achieve that goal. As a start, talk with your doctor to get a better idea of what exercise might be right for you.