Can worrying about falling increase the likelihood that it will happen? Yes, according to a recent study by Neuroscience Research Australia and reported in the New York Times here: http://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/01/fear-of-falling-2/
Falls and their resulting injuries are legitimate concerns for seniors. However, an exaggerated sense of anxiety can increase the probability of it happening, the report indicates.
The study followed 500 Sydney residents (average age: 78) who agreed to undergo a series of medical, physiological and neuropsychological tests. Most participants could accurately assess their odds of falling, but about a third were off the mark. They felt either more or less vulnerable than their strength, balance, reaction time and other physical characteristics would indicate.
Over the course of a year, the most anxious residents did fall more than the group as a whole: 40 percent suffered multiple or injurious falls. The group who did not rate their risk as high had a markedly lower rate of incidents.
More proof that a positive attitude can contribute to overall health!