Why should we care about balance? Balance is essential for mobility and day to day independence in those 55 and older. Furthermore, balance is the major modifiable risk factor for falls in elderly. In fact, it has been shown that a multi-component individualized exercise program reduces rate of falls, risk of falling and risk of fall-related fracture. The key is that the exercise program has to challenge balance and coordination. It also has to target the subcomponent of balance that is impaired.
There are a total of 6 subcomponents to balance: 1) biomechanical constraints; 2) stability limits; 3) anticipated postural adjustment; 4) postural responses; 5) sensory orientation and 6) stability in gait. Each subcomponent can be tested with one simple physical task that an individual can do at home.
We want to make this readily available to older individuals through an app that can:
1- Teach the connection between balance and falls
2- Provide individuals with the right assessment tools and physical tasks
3- Determine and share which subcomponent is impaired
4- Match individuals with a specific set of exercises targeted to improve the subcomponents that are impaired.
5- Potentially measure and individual's improvement over time