Effect of Footwear on Balance and Fall Risk of Elderly Individuals in Selected Old Age Homes
Keywords:Fall Risk, Elderly Population, Balance, Functional Reach Test, Berg Balance Scale, Footwear.
Background & Purpose: Falls in older people is a major public health problem, with 1 in 3 people in the
community aged over 65 years falling each year. To perform daily activities under both static and dynamic
conditions , maintenance of balance and stability plays an important role to prevent slip and falls. Maintenance
of balance is essential to prevent falls and fall related injuries. Balance is maintained by visual, vestibular
and somatosensory senses coupled with an intact, musculoskeletal system along with a higher level of
cognitive neural function. Degradation in one system increases the chances of lowering balance performance
with resultant possibility of a fall. The type of footwear plays a major role for maintaining balance and
stability as it serves as the medium between foot and the surface and contributes to somatosensory feedback
mechanisms. Design features of footwear such as mid sole hardness , heel elevation play an important role in
posture and balance. The aim of present study was to measure the effects of footwear on balance and fall risk
in older population. METHODOLOGY: Subjects were selected from R.V. College of Physiotherapy OPD
Bengaluru, Dignity Foundation Bengaluru. Elderly population above 60 years were recruited for the study.
Purposive sampling technique was used to recruit sample size of 80 subjects. FUNCTIONAL REACH
TEST (FRT): (Group A)=40 subjects and BERG BALANCE TEST: (Group B)=40 subjects were analyzed.
Results: The result was expressed in asymptotic Z-value because for both the groups sample size was more
than 20.Hence the median was tested between the two scales and asymptotic Z-value was 7.852 with P value
of p<0.001.This shows that those with footwear have maintained better balance as compared those without
Conclusion: The present study concluded that respondents recruited for Berg balance scale with footwear
showed better balance and stability as compared to bare foot performing Functional reach test