Preventing Falls: A Crucial Step in Paving the Path to Healthy Longevity

by Laura Warf

March 12, 2024 | Well-Being Tips

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In a world where longevity is a prized pursuit, an often overlooked menace threatens this aspiration: falls.

Seemingly innocuous incidents, like tripping over a rug, stumbling outdoors or slipping in the bathroom, hold the alarming position of being the 3rd leading cause of accidental deaths in our country. The repercussions of any kind of fall are vast, ranging from the loss of independence to a compromised ability to partake in beloved hobbies and leisure activities.

Fall-Related Injuries On the Rise

Recent reports from OPB news and the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) paint a concerning picture, indicating a 90% increase in patients treated for fall-related injuries compared to 2016. Dr. Katie Drago, an OHSU geriatrician and associate professor of medicine, labels this trend a "growing public health emergency," particularly noting that about three-quarters of these incidents involve individuals aged 65 and older.

This rise in fall-related injuries coincides with our extended lifespans, which, paradoxically, often come coupled with chronic conditions, increased medication use, and cognitive or functional impairments. However, amid this unsettling trend lies a beacon of hope: prevention.

3 Easy Steps to Prevent Falls and Live a Vibrant Life

  1. Be Proactive: Taking proactive measures to fortify our bodies against falls is pivotal. The key lies in movement and the maintenance of muscle strength as we age. When considering longevity, let's pay attention to our « healthspan » alongside of our « lifespan ». Our lifespan refers to the total duration of life, while healthspan refers to the duration of healthy, high-quality living within that lifespan. Improving healthspan involves measures to maintain physical and mental health, prevent diseases, and enhance overall well-being, aiming to prolong the period of life spent in good health.
  2. Live by “Bodies in motion stay in motion”: Embracing the mantra that "bodies in motion stay in motion," we acknowledge that our muscles respond not to age but to their use or disuse. Strengthening muscles promotes improved balance, reduces aches and pains, enhances sleep quality, and fosters independence, enabling us to savor life's myriad experiences.
  3. Adopt dynamic balance practices: Engaging in dynamic balance practices such as functional movements, tai chi, and yoga, along with posture realignment and musculoskeletal correction exercises proves invaluable. These activities not only enhance physical balance and flexibility but also refine our nervous system, sharpening our reflexes. When a momentary loss of balance occurs, these honed reflexes allow us to regain stability with greater ease and confidence, serving as our body's natural defense mechanism against falls.

Invest In Your Well-Being and Reap the Dividends

Incorporating even one of these rituals into our daily routine can yield immediate benefits, alleviating fatigue, improving circulation and easing aches and pains. Mindful movement helps us while bestowing a newfound appreciation for our bodies, which tirelessly carry us through each day. It's an investment in our future well-being, allowing us to relish the activities we cherish, whether it's navigating hiking trails, surfing an epic wave, indulging in hobbies, or tending to daily tasks with grace and vitality.

In the pursuit of healthy longevity, preventing falls emerges as a crucial cornerstone. By nurturing our bodies, fortifying our muscles through proper fitness training, and embracing practices that enhance balance, we pave a path toward a future where independence, sustainable energy, and the ability to relish life's moments remain within our grasp. It is never too late to start.

Keep It Simple: Kaisen Principle

Try to use the kaisen approach of 1% improvement each day. It is possible to include simple activities into our day such as : standing on one leg while brushing our teeth, enjoy gentle rebounding, bouncing or shaking as we move through our house, try a new challenging dance move, walk on an imaginary tightrope carefully placing one foot in front of the other, even walking and gliding on uneven surfaces in nature stimulates the balance centers in our brain. Our neurovestibular system provides a sense of balance and information about body position that allows rapid compensatory movements in response to both self-induced and externally generated forces. So challenge your balance daily by what you do and where you go for physical activity.

If you enjoy fitness classes or going to the gym, include stability equipment in your routine like stability balls, Bosu balls or balance disks. If you would like more guidance, reach out to a qualified coach or personal trainer who can customize a program designed for your needs and goals.

Remember, your body is your one and only faithful companion on life's journey, and it's our responsibility to care for them so they may continue to support and enable our adventures. We only get one body in this lifetime, might as well care for it.

Reference : OPB “Think Out Loud®”., OHSU geriatrician on treating and preventing injuries from falls, as incidents increase, 24-11-2023

About the author, Laura Warf


Laura Warf is a Posture Therapist, Functional Movement Specialist, Yoga Teacher, Personal Trainer, Empowerment Coach, and Co-founder of Mend Loft in Cannon Beach. Connect with Laura at for more information. Or visit our website,

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