Recently, we developed a new fall risk assessment, multi-target stepping (MTS) test, to measure the stepping accuracy in a simplified manner [fig]. In the MTS test, participants were instructed to step on an assigned square (the footfall target) continuously along the 15 lines while avoiding the other squares (distracters). The high risk for fall older participants also showed a significantly higher rate of failure to avoid stepping on distracters (avoidance failure) than low risk for fall older participants.
The current study was to investigate whether a 24-week exercise program during which older participants performed the MTS task twice a week (MTS program) was effective to improve participants’ ability to step precisely on footfall targets and, as a result, to prevent falls. Results, the MTS program is likely to improve stepping accuracy and physical performance which could lead to reduce fall risks. Furthermore, participation in the MTS program can prevent falls in community-dwelling older adults.