Physical Activity, Fear of Falling, and Falls in Nigerian Older Adults

By Christopher Olusanjo Akosile, Charity Uju Agu, Babatunde O. A. Adegoke, Emmanuel C Okoye, Ifeoma A. Okeke and Gideon Emeahara.

Published by The International Journal of Aging and Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: May 7, 2014 $US5.00

Physical inactivity is associated with an increased incidence of falling, which itself is related to fear of falling (FOF) among older adults. This study evaluated the physical activity level (PAL) of a sample of elderly Nigerians and whether PAL is different in people with and without FOF, and also between fallers and non-fallers. The cross-sectional survey involved 180 elderly individual (92 females, 88 males) recruited from selected South-Eastern Nigerian communities, with a mean age of 71.87± 6.98. The Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly (PASE) and the Fall Efficacy Scale (FES) were used to assess the PAL and FOF among the participants. Information on falls was obtained via oral interview. Data was analysed using frequency and percentages, mean and standard deviation, chi-square, Independent t and Mann-Whitney U tests. Mean PASE score of 95.61, and FOF prevalence and fall prevalence rates of 34.4% and 27.8% was recorded among participants. Total PASE score was significantly higher for those without FOF than those with FOF overall but similar between fallers and non-fallers. Participants’ PAL was fairly good, though FOF and fall prevalence rates were high. Physical inactivity is associated with presence of FOF but not with actual falls. Improving physical activity among older adults may help minimize development of FOF and its consequences.

Keywords: Physical Activity, Fear of Falling, Falls

The International Journal of Aging and Society, Volume 3, Issue 2, May 2014, pp.25-35. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: May 7, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 450.361KB)).

Dr. Christopher Olusanjo Akosile

Senior Lecturer, Medical Rehabilitation Department, Faculty of Health Sciences and Technology, College of Health Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nnewi, Anambra, Nigeria

Dr. Christopher Olusanjo Akosile is a lecturer and present Head of the Department of Medical Rehabilitation, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nnewi Campus. He holds a B.Sc(Physiotherapy) degree of the University of Ibadan along with Masters and PhD degrees in Exercise Physiology from the same institution. He worked as a clinical physiotherapist for about 10 years with the Oyo State Hospital Management Board before joining the academia in 2008. He has served his professional body in various capacities at the local state and national levels and he was formerly the Chair of the Educational Committee of the Nigeria Society of Physiotherapy. He is an Editor with the Tropical Journal of Medical Research and reviewer for quite a number of journals. He has published in quite a number of local, regional and international journals. He is area of specialization is Neurophysiotherapy and research areas include quality of life issues, movement and exercise science, falls and gerontology.

Charity Uju Agu

Intern Physiotherapist, Physiotherapy Department, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin, Edo, Nigeria

Emmanuel C Okoye

Graduate Assistant, Medical rehabilitation Department, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nnewi, Anambra, Nigeria

Neurophysiotherapy and Gerontology

Ifeoma A. Okeke

Graduate Assistant, Medical Rehabilitation, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nnewi, Anambra, Nigeria

Gerontology and Cardiopulmonary Physiotheraapy

Gideon Emeahara

Lecturer I, Human Kinetics and Health Education Department, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra, Nigeria

Exercise Physiology, Sport Performance, Physical Activity