This Extreme Sport Could Help Older People Avoid Risk of Injuries From Falling

Skills learned in the daredevil urban sport parkour can also teach elderly how to safely break a fall.

Parkour could help aging Americans keep their balance and better recover from a fall. (Getty)
Getty Images/Science Photo Libra

Aging adults at risk of serious injury from falling down could learn a thing or two about landing safely with help from the daredevil sport of parkour.

Parkour is an extreme sport that often finds its participants leaping from one building’s roof to the next, bouncing off of walls and stairwells, and rolling on the ground.

With a few changes to the parkour routine, the elderly could also use the lessons from this extreme exercise regime to their advantage, helping them to regain some balance and possibly incur fewer injuries if and when they do fall down.

The CDC says the leading cause of injury-related deaths in American adults over 65 is falls. Even a non-fatal fall can have extreme lasting effects on the injured party’s life, though.

Kathy Cameron, the director of the National Fall Prevention Resource Center says about 20 percent of older people who fall have “an injury like traumatic brain injury or a hip fracture or other broken bones.” Cameron suggests taking part in activities that focus on balance and muscle strength.

Austin Gall teaches Parkour in Culver City, California and says the first thing he likes to work on with older clients is balance: “just being able to balance along a rail without falling off or just simple things like footwork and jumping really low, small distances,” is a great way to begin parkour training.

Seniors wanting to use parkour to learn how to recover from a fall will also learn how to best avoid the fall in the first place.

“I think there are components of it [parkour] that are really important for reducing fall risks.” Cameron said.


The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.