Vision and agility training in community dwelling older adults: Incorporating visual training into programs for fall prevention
Gait and Posture
This study aimed to examine the effect of visual training on obstacle course performance of independent community dwelling older adults. Agility is the ability to rapidly alter ongoing motor patterns, an important aspect of mobility which is required in obstacle avoidance. However, visual information is also a critical factor in successful obstacle avoidance. We compared obstacle course performance of a group that trained in visually driven body movements and agility drills, to a group that trained only in agility drills. We also included a control group that followed the American College of Sports Medicine exercise recommendations for older adults. Significant gains in fitness, mobility and power were observed across all training groups. Obstacle course performance results revealed that visual training had the greatest improvement on obstacle course performance (22%) following a 12 week training program. These results suggest that visual training may be an important consideration for fall prevention programs. © 2011 Elsevier B.V..