Wellness Wednesday: Engineering for Humanity

Students from Olin College and visitors from the Natick Community Center attended a presentation on North Hill’s balance program called Stand Strong/Safe Steps. Trainers Terri Ivanoski and Linda Riley outlined key contributing factors to consider when developing a comprehensive balance, mobility and fall prevention training guide.

Training for balance involves improving in all of the areas outlined below. Research has proven that seniors who exercise and practice balance activities can reduce the likelihood of a fall. Your Personal Exercise Plan should focus on the following:

  • Strength: Improving overall body strength and stability
  • Cardiovascular: Strengthening your heart and lungs will help improve agility and balance
  • Flexibility: Improving your range of motion in muscle group’s key to good posture
  • Mobility: Achieve lasting ability to get around more easily
  • Safety/Fall Prevention: Improve your management skills for navigating changing environments
  • Social: Increase your confidence so you can get out and enjoy family and friends
  • Balance: Commit to a multidimensional approach to training to improve all of the systems and skills you need to achieve better balance

The group were a part of a course at Olin College called ‘Engineering for Humanity’. In the course, senior citizen “community partners” work alongside students from three nearby colleges — with Wellesley and Babson joining Olin in the consortium — to design solutions to everyday problems.

Stand Strong

The course has benefited both seniors and students. The elders enjoy collaborating on creative solutions to their challenges. Students come to appreciate what seniors face, and learn how to adapt their thinking to address real-life problems. And everyone involved says they enjoy the interactions.

What are some difficulties you encounter in your day-to-day life? Leave us a comment below. We could all use a little balance exercise now and again!

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