British Judo Launches 'Finding Your Feet' to Reduce Falls Among Elderly

British Judo launches "Finding Your Feet" programme to teach older adults safe falling techniques based on judo principles. The initiative aims to reduce fear of falling and minimize injuries, which can lead to significant NHS costs.

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Bijay Laxmi
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British Judo Launches 'Finding Your Feet' to Reduce Falls Among Elderly

British Judo Launches 'Finding Your Feet' to Reduce Falls Among Elderly

British Judo, in collaboration with the University of Hertfordshire and Anglia Ruskin University, has launched the lessons, help, older, adults programme to teach older adults safe falling techniques based on judo principles. The initiative aims to reduce the fear of falling and minimize injuries, which can lead to significant costs for the National Health Service (NHS).

Falls among the elderly are a major public health concern in the United Kingdom. According to Age UK, there are approximately 200,000 fall-related hospital admissions for over-65s annually. The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities estimates that unaddressed fall hazards in homes cost the NHS in England around £435 million. The NHS reports that one in three adults over 65 and half of people over 80 will have at least one fall a year.

Why this matters: This programme has significant implications for the healthcare system, as reducing fall-related injuries can lead to substantial cost savings and improved health outcomes for older adults. Moreover, it highlights the importance of innovative approaches to addressing public health concerns, which can be replicated in other areas to benefit society as a whole.

The 'Finding Your Feet' programme will see qualified judo coaches teaching safe falling techniques adapted from 18 different judo moves. These include the yoko ukemi (sideways fall) to protect the head, tucking the chin in when falling backwards, falling forward safely without using hands, and rolling techniques to get up safely. Training sessions are currently being rolled out to judo coaches, with public sessions expected to start in the second half of 2024.

Prof Mike Callan of the University of Hertfordshire, who is also a member of the International Judo Federation Scientific Committee, believes judo can make a significant contribution to reducing dangerous falls for older adults. "Judo coaches have a valuable skill set as they understand the key principles of falling safely. By teaching these techniques to older adults, judo can make a significant contribution to a particular problem for society," he stated.

The 'Finding Your Feet' programme represents an innovative approach to addressing a serious and costly issue facing the UK's aging population. By equipping older adults with practical skills to prevent and minimize injuries from falls, British Judo aims to improve overall health and wellbeing while reducing the burden on the NHS. The initiative showcases the potential for sports like judo to have far-reaching benefits beyond the confines of the dojo.

Key Takeaways

  • British Judo launches "Finding Your Feet" programme to teach older adults safe falling techniques.
  • Falls among elderly cost NHS £435m annually, with 200,000 hospital admissions.
  • Programme aims to reduce fear of falling, minimize injuries, and save NHS costs.
  • Qualified judo coaches will teach 18 adapted judo moves to prevent fall-related injuries.
  • Public sessions expected to start in 2024, with potential to improve health outcomes and reduce NHS burden.