Physical Activity to Prevent Falls
Falls are more likely to occur among older adults as our balance and strength decreases as we age. However, falls shouldn't be accepted as inevitable, or a normal part of later life.
If you start worrying about falling, it might feel like it makes sense to wind down – but staying active can be the key to staying steady
Physical activity can reduce the likelihood of falls by improving muscle strength and balance. Some studies report that exercise can reduce the rate of falls by over 20%.
Falls Prevention Exercise Programmes
Wiltshire Council deliver Falls Prevention Exercise Classes in 15 locations across Wiltshire. They are designed to help those who are afraid of falling, or who have already experienced a fall. They consist of a mixture of chair-based and standing exercises to improve strength, balance, and increase confidence. You can be referred by your GP or healthcare professional, or self-refer to attend the classes.
For further information please contact email@example.com or call 07799074312.
Swindon Borough Council run The Otago Exercise programme (OEP), a supported home exercise programme designed to help increase the strength and balance of older people in order to prevent falls. It runs over 16 weeks, consisting of one face to face group exercise class per week, and a home exercise booklet.
Research has shown that the Otago exercise programme is effective in reducing by 35% both the number of falls and the number of injuries resulting from falls in older people (aged 65+). It has also shown that the programme improves participants' strength and balance and maintains their confidence in carrying out everyday activities without falling.
You can access the programme via Live Well Referral by:
- GP and Healthcare Professionals
- Clients are able to self-refer into the (SBC) Otago sessions
- (Classes based at the Woodlands Therapy Centre are accessed only by the medical falls clinic at GWH and not through SBC)
Strength and Balance Exercises
In the video below from the Chartered Institute of Physiotherapy, find 6 exercises to improve your strength and balance.
If you'd like to find more activities in Wiltshire and Swindon, or activities you can to at home to improve strength and balance, click the page below.
Below you can find resources from the Swindon Falls and Bone Health Collaborative, and Age UK which offer advice and information on ways to reduce your risk of falling, and what to do if you do have a fall.
Steady Steps- Swindon Falls and Bone Health Collaborative (PDF, 1.1 Mb)
Advice to stay fit and healthy to reduce the risk of falling, and information what to do if you fall.
Staying Steady Age UK (PDF, 3.8 Mb)
Information on ways to reduce your risk of falling by looking after your health and the practical things you can do to make sure your home is a safe environment.