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Researchers at the University of Illinois in Chicago deliberately tripped senior citizens in the process of developing ways to prevent them from falling down, CBS News reported.
Professor Clive Pai headed up the study and he says that it could become a virtual “vaccine against falls.” He calls it “implicit learning. We don’t give any instruction. They don’t have to be motivated — they’re naturally motivated because they don’t want to be on the floor.”
The Association of Mature American Citizens says the procedure is not as cruel as you might think, explaining that the elderly participants in Pai’s study wear harnesses. After a while, they learn to catch themselves. Pai and his team say that after as few as 24 fake falls the older adults in the study were 50 percent less likely to fall as they go about their daily chores.
Stretching exercises, vision exams, strategic handrails, the avoidance of sudden moves and the use of a cane, if necessary, are also good ways to prevent dangerous falls, according to AMAC.