New research shows that young adults fall more often than older adults. Falls are the third-most common cause of unintentional injuries for people aged 18 to 35, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Young adults in Georgia might be surprised that most falls happen during everyday tasks such as talking and walking.
Researchers at Purdue University collected data from 94 undergraduate students through a daily survey online about their slips, trips and falls in the previous 24 hours. The average age of the students was 19, and they each slipped or tripped an average of once per week but regained their balance most of the time.
The researchers found that while 52 percent of the young adults fell once over the four-month period, 21 percent fell twice or more. In 16 percent of these falls, the participants were injured, and 4 percent of them needed medical attention. The study also determined that about 33 percent of these falls occurred indoors and that the frequency of falls increased with physical activity level.
Additionally, just 3 percent of falls were the result of texting and walking, and 9 percent were the result of substance abuse. More falls were the result of talking and walking than any other multitasking, and the researchers say that this is likely because talking and walking requires simultaneous management of balance, language and speech formation, and terrain navigation.
The health and kinesiology professor at Purdue University cited that about 33 percent of older adults fall every year because of age-related balance changes. During the four-month study, more than 50 percent of the participants fell while doing everyday activities. She speculated that older adults may fall less because they are more cautious because of their higher risk of serious and fatal injuries.
Falling can cause serious injuries even in young adults when they are not careful. Many slip-and-fall injuries occur due to hazardous conditions in stores, parking lots and other public areas that the property owner should have been aware of but failed to correct, and those who are injured in such an accident may want to seek compensation from the negligent owner with the assistance of a premises liability attorney.