Because adults 65 and older are less active than other age groups, they are at an increased risk for falls. The Center for Active Living and Healthy Communities has begun research to help health practitioners better identify older adults who are at risk for falling and help those practitioners create fall-prevention programs.
Student and faculty researchers launched a pilot study in fall 2009 involving 25 older adults from the Plymouth region. After the pilot study Dr. King and student researchers completed a study in 2011 establishing the reliability of the Tekscan Matscan balance assessment system utilizing a center of foot pressure test. This study included 50 older adults from the ages of 65-79. The participants came from all over New Hampshire including Plymouth, Tilton, Laconia, Hanover, New Hampton, Salem, Concord, North Conway, Meredith as well as other communities across the state.
The researchers also completed another study in 2012 including many of Plymouth State University’s athletes and active population ranging from the ages of 18-25 years old.
Dr. King and her research team have secured funds for further research. The group plans to study the relationship between the Tekscan Matscan and the other available older adult clinical balance assessments such as the Timed Up & Go Test and the Berg Balance Assessment Scale.
For more information on the research visit their website at: