Work Type



Fall 2021

Faculty Advisor

Holly Roberts, PT, PhD




Background: Physical activity levels generally decline with increasing age. Few studies have examined the influences of balance confidence, fear of falling, and fall history on physical activity levels in older adults.

Purpose: To determine the relationships between balance confidence, fear of falling, fall history, and physical activity level in community-dwelling older adults.

Methods: Eighty-eight participants completed the Activities-specific Balance Confidence Scale (ABC), Fear of Falling Avoidance Behavior Questionnaire (FFABQ), and a self-reported fall history. They reported their monthly activity levels using the Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly (PASE). Pearson correlation coefficients (r) were used to analyze the relationships between the outcome measures, including the PASE (PASEi), and the mean of 3 monthly PASE scores (PASE3).

Results: Moderate positive correlations were found between ABC scores and the PASEi (r=0.398) and PASE3 (r=0.384). There were moderate negative correlations between FFABQ scores and the PASEi and PASE3 (r=-0.362, r=-0.349, respectively). Fall history was not correlated with the PASEi or PASE3 (r=-0.148, r=-0.202, respectively).

Conclusion: Community-dwelling older adults who reported higher levels of balance confidence and lower fear of falling avoidance behaviors reported higher levels of physical activity. Fall history was not correlated with physical activity scores. Clinicians should consider assessing balance confidence and fear of falling when encouraging physical activity for older adults.


University of Puget Sound