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How elderly can avoid fall fractures: take up judo

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Learning martial arts could help the elderly avoid bone fractures, it was claimed today.

No one is suggesting turning auntie Flo into a ninja warrior, but fighting disciplines such as kung fu, karate and judo involve techniques that can help brittle-boned patients fall more safely, research suggests.

Scientists carried out a feasibility study using healthy volunteers to see if martial arts fall training could help people with osteoporosis.

The research showed that hip fractures could be prevented by teaching the skills to vulnerable elderly patients.

Researcher Dr Brenda Groen, from the Vrije University in Amsterdam, said: “Based on our results we believe that fall training would be safe for persons with osteoporosis if they wear hip protectors during the training, perform fall exercises on a thick mattress, and avoid forward fall exercises from a standing position.”

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