There are not many sports for the elderly despite a scientifical consensus on the importance of sports in improving balance, power and mental state for this group. In Denmark, an experiment was started in which introducing floorball to a group of seniors. After 8 weeks results showed balance was increased by 11%, the seniors showed an increase in power of a stunning 22% and most importantly: they had fun!
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“I have never had so much power in my arms, but you need it for this if you want to keep the others at a distance”, Else Hall says. Despite being almost 90 years old, she gives everything on the field. “It’s good! One is finally free of crocheting and knitting. Much more is happening and your heart rate goes up”, she continues.
There are a lot of positive results in the pilot. Playing floorball made it easier for the participants to move around in their care center. For example, one participant could occasionally get food without her assisting rollator – something that didn’t happen before the experiment.
The benefits were not merely physical but also presented themselves in another area. Jens Bangsbo, who supervised the experiment, says: “It’s a relatively easy form of physical activity that not only has physical benefits but also positively influences the mental wellbeing as well as the social setting. They go through a common experience which gives them something to talk ánd laugh about”.