During my personal testing on the Balance Mat of more than a thousand people, including people in their eighties and nineties, I have found that most elderly people actually do have good balance.
Generally speaking, when an older person has a fall there can be the immediate assumption that it is because they have poor balance.
When I started testing an early prototype of my Unimetric Balance Mat in residential aged care facilities I expected very many high scores, indicating widespread poor balance among that population.
However, as I developed the prototype I was surprised to realise that most people were recording a zero score. I thought that either the algorithms or the metrics must have been wrong.
When I started measuring fit and healthy older people’s balance outside aged care environments at seniors expos and fitness classes and the like it eventually dawned on me that balance does not necessarily deteriorate with age.
I then embarked on an innovation journey that has led to the launch of our brand new product – the Multimetric Balance Mat for fitness and healthcare professionals.
Over the past year of measuring people’s balance on the Multimetric Balance Mat I have consistently found that good balance scores are always associated with regular exercise and good health practices.
Often I will ask a person who measures close to zero on the Balance Mat (indicating that they have good balance) whether they do any exercise. The answer will usually be that they do yoga or Tai Chi or stand on one leg every day as part of a regular exercise routine.
My conclusion? Elderly people can maintain good balance – and therefore health – through regular exercise.
All these experiences have been integral parts of shaping the Balance Mat Pty Ltd mission statement, which is: “We help people to live well longer because good balance equals good health.”