A Motor Learning Approach to Reducing Fall-Related Injuries

Katherine L. Hsieh, Jacob J. Sosnoff

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Falls are the leading cause of injury related death in older adults. In this piece, a motor learning lens is applied to falls, and falls are viewed as three interdependent phases: 1) destabilization, 2) descent, and 3) impact. This review examines how movements can be performed in the descent and impact phases to potentially reduce fall-related injuries. The evidence that movements performed during the descent and impact phases are voluntary motor skills that can be learned by older adults is reviewed. Data from young adult and older adult studies suggest that safe landing strategies can reduce impact force, are voluntary, and are learnable. In conclusion, safe landing strategies may provide a complimentary approach to reduce fall-related injuries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)663-667
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Motor Behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2021


  • falls
  • motor learning
  • motor skills
  • older adults
  • safe landing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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