Elderly? Don't Drink and Walk

Just two drinks can cause problems
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 28, 2010 12:23 PM CDT
Elderly? Don't Drink and Walk
Elderly? Sit and drink. Then stay seated.E   (Getty Images)

Seniors wary of falling and hurting themselves should climb onto the wagon. A new study has found that having even just two alcoholic beverages can negatively affect a healthy elderly person's "obstacle avoidance reactions"—which can make them more likely to take a spill. Researchers in the Netherlands had 13 men and women, average age 62, walk on a treadmill that had a block placed on it; they were asked to step over the block both before and after having two drinks.

Post-booze, the subjects slowed their pace, didn't lift their legs as high, and were two times more likely to touch the blocks. Scientific American notes that while the study size was small, the researchers insist that the effects were unequivocal.
(More alcohol is bad for you stories.)

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