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Journal of Aging Research
Volume 2012, Article ID 708905, 16 pages
Review Article

A Qualitative Review of Balance and Strength Performance in Healthy Older Adults: Impact for Testing and Training

1Institute of Sport Science, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Seidelstraβe 20, 07749 Jena, Germany
2Department of Sports Science, University of Konstanz, 78434 Konstanz, Germany

Received 24 July 2011; Revised 22 September 2011; Accepted 6 October 2011

Academic Editor: Yamni Nigam

Copyright © 2012 Urs Granacher et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A continuously greying society is confronted with specific age-related health problems (e.g., increased fall incidence/injury rate) that threaten both the quality of life of fall-prone individuals as well as the long-term sustainability of the public health care system due to high treatment costs of fall-related injuries (e.g., femoral neck fracture). Thus, intense research efforts are needed from interdisciplinary fields (e.g., geriatrics, neurology, and exercise science) to (a) elucidate neuromuscular fall-risk factors, (b) develop and apply adequate fall-risk assessment tools that can be administered in clinical practice, and (c) develop and design effective intervention programs that have the potential to counteract a large number of fall-risk factors by ultimately reducing the number of falls in the healthy elderly. This paper makes an effort to present the above-raised research topics in order to provide clinicians, therapists, and practitioners with the current state-of-the-art information.