Elderly should be taught judo to help prevent injuries when they fall, researcher says


‘Teach elderly judo so they can fall safely’: OAPs should be shown martial art skills to help prevent injuries when they fall, researcher says

  • Around 684,000 people die from falls each year, with over 60s most at risk 
  • The technique of falling safely, known as ‘ukemi’, could help older people 
  • One in three adults over 65 and half of people over 80 have one fall a year

Elderly people should be taught judo skills to help prevent injuries when they trip or fall, according to a researcher.

Around 684,000 people die from falls across the world each year with the over 60s being the most at-risk group.

Sport and exercise scientist Katrina McDonald, who coaches judo at Anglia Ruskin University, said the technique of falling safely, known as ‘ukemi’, could help older people.

Elderly people should be taught judo skills to help prevent injuries when they trip or fall, according to a researcher

Miss McDonald, who is a senior lecturer in sport coaching, was speaking at the British Science Festival in Chelmsford. 

She said: ‘In a judo class, the very first lesson we teach people is how to fall because it’s so important. 

‘It would be a case of taking some of the principles we have in judo and applying them to teaching all ages to fall safely.’

She added: ‘Teaching people to roll a bit when they land, or have a bit of mobility, is also helpful as it reduces the amount of pressure on a single joint or area.’

Falls are a common but often overlooked cause of injury in Britain. Around one in three adults over 65 and half of people over 80 will have at least one fall a year.

Miss McDonald said: ‘In an ideal world three things would change. We’d start by getting learning how to fall on the national curriculum, so children are less likely to hurt themselves if they fall off a chair or get knocked over while playing.

Around one in three adults over 65 and half of people over 80 will have at least one fall a year

Around one in three adults over 65 and half of people over 80 will have at least one fall a year

‘There should also be a push targeting people who are around the age of 40, who are still in a position where they aren’t frail and are enjoying going to the gym.

‘And finally, in the Netherlands, they started a course for the elderly paid for by Dutch insurance to teach them how to fall. We should have something similar in place.

‘It would be a case of taking some of the principles we have in judo and applying them to teaching all ages to fall safely.’ Falls are a common but often overlooked cause of injury in Britain. Around one in three adults over 65 and half of people over 80 will have at least one fall a year.

According to data from NHS Digital, nearly 100,000 older people suffered hip fractures in 2017/18.

Charity Age UK has previously said preventing falls and hip fractures should be a top priority for the Government as it costs the NHS around £1billion annually to treat.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk