Alexander Technique with Bradley Newman Alexander Technique with Bradley Newman

Turn a Light On

A recent study looks at whether the Alexander Technique may help reduce falls.

A friend of mine wrote a paper on how to prevent falls for the elderly, which was subtitled "Turn a Light On" - many of the falls were caused by people getting up in the night and walking around in the dark. But not all falls happen at night. A recent study conducted in Sydney has looked at "the impact of Alexander Technique lessons on balance and mobility in older adults with visual impairments".

The study involved 120 people aged fifty and over, who each had twelve weekly lessons. The study concluded: "The intervention did not have a significant impact on the primary outcomes but benefits for the intervention group in postural sway, trends towards fewer falls and injurious falls and improved mobility among past multiple-fallers suggest further investigation of the Alexander Technique is warranted."

There are obviously many variables contributing to elderly people falling, and balance and confidence in your own ability to walk and stand securely must be involved. As an Alexander Technique teacher I have seen many people improve their balance and co-ordination. For some people this could be a meaningful and important change if it involves prevention of a serious injury. It is pleasing to see the research being done, and hopefully people will consider the Alexander Technique as one of a number of steps taken to reduce falls. And of course, turn a light on.

"Can the Alexander Technique improve balance and mobility in older adults with visual impairments? A randomized controlled trial" by Michael Gleeson, Catherine Sherrington, Serigne Lo and Lisa Keay was published in Clinical Rehabilitation 2015, Vol. 29(3) 244–260.

Bradley Newman teaches the Alexander Technique in Sydney. For more information see or email Bradley on .