Comparison of the effects of exhilarating and normal physical activities on the balance and fear of falling in the elderly residing in nursing homes of Mashhad

Document Type: Original Quantitative and Qualitative Research Paper


1 Assistant Professor of Gerontology, Department of Medical-Surgical Nursing, School of Nursing & Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad

2 MS in Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

3 PhD candidate in Nursing, Department of Medical-Surgical Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

4 Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


Background: The elderly have less physical activity due to laziness, having no partners, lack of interest and motivation in life. Exhilarating physical activities can increase number of meetings between elderly, their amusement, and increase tendency to do exercise, which eventually results in the improvement in their balance and fear of falling.
Aim: To compare the effect of exhilarating and normal physical activity on the balance and fear of falling in the elderly residing in nursing homes.
Methods: In this two-group clinical trial, 63 elderly residents in nursing homes of Mashhad were studied. The intervention group did exhilarating physical activities for 20 minutes 3 times a week for 2 months while the control group did routine exercises of the nursing home. The research tools were Berg and fear of falling tests. Data were analyzed by independent-t and Mann-Whitney tests using SPSS 11.5 Software.
Results: The mean age of the elderly was 72.5 ± 7.0 years. The mean balance scores for post-intervention were 38.3 ± 12.0 in the intervention and 29.4 ± 6.1 in control groups (P<0.001). Analysis of covariance showed that the elimination of the variable of fear of falling in elderly before the intervention, the average correction for fear of falling was significantly different between the two groups: control (51.7 ± 31.2) and intervention (41.5 ± 22.4) (P<0.001).
Conclusion: Fun physical activities are deterrent of balance and fall disorders. Therefore, with informing the authorities of nursing homes of the exhilarating physical activities protocol and performing it, the onset of several motor deficits and balance can be prevented.


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