By Lynne Adkins

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – We know that falls can be debilitating for seniors, but now a local study shows that just a few weeks of work can go a long way to improve balance.

Spending just a few weeks working to improve balance can make a big difference in strength and flexibility, according to a study at the University of the Sciences.

Physical Therapy Professor at the University of the Sciences Dr. Carol Maritz says participants were given simple exercises that can easily be done at home:

“All the exercises were done in standing, so challenging their balance from the get go — simple tasks like marching in place, lifting their legs in different positions to standing on a foam pad, doing different kinds of stepping to challenge their base of support.”

Carol Maritz, PT, EdD, vice chair of the Department of Physical Therapy at University of the Sciences. (Credit: University of the Sciences)

Carol Maritz, PT, EdD, vice chair of the Department of Physical Therapy at University of the Sciences. (Credit: University of the Sciences)

In addition, as the seniors balance improved, their fear of falling declined, which gave them more confidence to continue exercising and improving.