Exercising to music reduces the risk of falls among elderly people, researchers have found.

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The study included 134 Swiss adults, mostly women, average age 75.5 years, who were at increased risk of falling. They were assigned to either an intervention group that did a music-based multitask exercise program or a control group that did normal exercises. After the first six months, the participants switched groups for the next six months.

The intervention program used an instructor-led one-hour weekly exercise program that featured multitask activities, including movements that were designed to challenge balance and become increasingly difficult over time. These exercises included walking in time to piano music and responding to changes in the music’s rhythm.

People in the intervention program showed greater improvement in balance and had 24 falls (a rate of 0.7 falls per person per year), compared with 54 falls in the control program (a rate of 1.6 falls per person per year), the investigators found.

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