Effect of ukemi practice in healthy older adults

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[Purpose] To examine whether fear of falling and mobility skills improved after judo ukemi practice in healthy older adults, and whether a relationship exists between improvements in fear of falling and changes in mobility skills. [Participants and Methods] Ten healthy older adults who participated in exercise classes for middle- aged and elderly people to promote health performed ukemi practice three times in total, increasing the degree of difficulty every week. [Results] No significant differences in fear of falling or 10-m walking times were noted in Steps 1, 2, and 3. A significant reduction in timed up and go test results was observed in Steps 2 and 3. No correla- tion was found between change in fear of falling and change in mobility skills before and after ukemi practice for all combinations. [Conclusion] The results suggest that judo ukemi practice improves mobility skills in healthy older individuals with relatively high physical ability. These changes may not be due to a reduced fear of falling but rather to quicker physical reactivity and other psychological factors.

Key words: Ukemi, Fear of falling, Mobility skill

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Picture: “Educating Judo Coaches for Older practitioners” (EdJCO)

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