Purpose. balance disorders are considered a significant problem in the elderly as they are associated with an increased incidence of falls. In effect, they can lead to numerous injuries, disability, or even death. The aim of this study was to explore the relationships between the risk of falling and various factors (morphology, socioeconomic status, physical fitness, and physical activity level) in adult and elderly women. Methods. The study population sample included 149 women aged 47-89 years living in the province of Lower Silesia, Poland. The women were divided into two age groups of younger (n =83, xage = 59.09 years) and older (n = 66, xage = 70.77 years) participants. Measures included BMI, marital status, and physical activity, physical fitness, and education levels. Statistical analysis included a chi-squared test, cluster analysis, logistic regression, and correspondence analysis. Results. bMI and physical fitness were strongly correlated with falls: the higher the bMI (overweight or obese) and the lower physical fitness, the greater the risk of falling. The remaining variables showed a weak relationship with falling. Conclusions. The fall risk of women who are overweight or obese or with a low physical fitness level is approximately 2.5 times higher than those with normal and healthy levels of BMI and physical fitness. The presence of both risk factors increased the likelihood of falling.
Key words: predictors of falls; fall risk; elderly women; logistic analysis; BMI