30% of adults over the age of 65 will experience at least one fall a year. Falls remain the leading cause of injury related deaths and hospitalisation in Australia. As we age our risk of falls increases due to the normal ageing process this includes reduced vision, effects of medication, anxiety about falling and a generalised reduction in strength and muscle mass. Falls can result in permanent disability, decreased confidence and decreased capacity to perform activities of daily living which overall reduces quality of life and independence.
So how can we help reduce the risk of falls?
It is recommended that we engage in exercise programs that include balance training, these should be performed regularly (about 2 hours per week). Balance and strength programs have been found to decrease the risk of falls by about 20%-35%. Benefits of these programs include improved muscular strength, better balance, improved confidence, increased walking speed as well as psychological factors.
A good balance exercise will involve controlled body movements while standing with the feet close
together or on one leg with as little support as possible. These should be safe but challenging.
Our Exercise Physiologist can help you to improve your balance through one on one or group