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Explainer: why does our balance get worse as we grow older?

All of us have taken a tumble at some point in our lives. But as we grow older, the risks associated with falling over become greater: we lose physical strength and bone density, our sense of balance deteriorates and we take longer to recover from a fall. Alarmingly, this process begins around the age of 25. The reasons for this are varied and complex, but by understanding them better, we can find ways to mitigate the effects of old age.


The first thing to know is that the human body is inherently unstable, with a small base relative to its height. Maintaining an upright position and moving from place to place while staying balanced is a continual challenge for our bodies. Our success depends on the well-being and integration of many different systems within our bodies.


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