Affiliations: Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington, KY
Note:  Special thanks to Patricia Herbers, RN for manuscript review.
Abstract: Many studies have been conducted to document the positive effects of exercise in the elderly. Initially, the focus was on the benefits of aerobic training, however, more recent studies have shown that the elderly respond to isometric, isotonic, and isokinetic programs. Strength and mobility are two of the key factors in assessing a person's risk for falling. Studies have shown that people who fall frequently have weaker ankle dorsiflexors and knee extensors than persons who do not fall. As a result, it has been speculated that exercise programs to strengthen these muscle groups will improve functional mobility and reduce the risk of falling. At present ongoing trials are trying to provide documentation to support this idea.