Jonathan Howland, a professor of social and behavioral science at Boston University's School of Public Health who studies the fear of falling, says that inactivity often leads to depression. That can require medication, which can make someone more liable to fall. It can lead to drinking, which can make someone more liable to fall. It can lead to medication combined with drinking, which can really make someone more liable to fall.
Studies indicate that 30 to 50 percent of elderly people fear falling. Mr. Howland said that research he engaged in found that fear of falling exceeded other commonplace anxieties like fear of being robbed in the street, fear of forgetting an appointment and fear of financial problems.
So a team of researchers from Australia and Belgium set out to improve their understanding of fear of falling and its impact on the risk of falls.