Walking Style, Gaze Direction May Hold Clues to Reducing Slip and Fall Accident Risks

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Researchers in the United Kingdom have found that a person’s walking style as well as the direction of gaze may be important in reducing his risk of a slip and fall accident. According to the research, senior citizens who look straight ahead at the distance while they walk, could be at an increased risk of a slip and fall accident than those whose gaze is directed at obstacles in their path.

When a senior adult is looking at the far distance at looming obstacles, he is at a higher risk of failing to observe and identify immediate fall accident hazards in his path. This increases his slip and fall accident risks.

The results of the research were released in time to coincide with Falls Awareness Week in the UK last month. The research is being sponsored by an organization called Age UK, which is also launching a new initiative to reduce the number of slip and fall accidents affecting the elderly. According to Age UK, poor vision is a factor in approximately 270,000 fall accidents involving people over the age of 65 over the last couple of years. That’s why the group is focusing on the link between vision failures and the risk of a slip and fall.

Missouri premises liability lawyers predict that prevention of fall accidents involving the elderly is going to be a major safety and health concern in the United States too. As the baby boomer population in the country ages, we will have more numbers of elderly citizens above the age of 65, who are independent and mobile. These people are likely to use hotels, restaurants, malls, and office spaces in larger numbers. These properties need to be designed or modified to reflect the safety concerns facing the elderly.