Physio tip of the month - Fall prevention

The role of exercise in the prevention of falls has been well documented. Targeted exercise aimed at improving balance and strength promotes functional independence and mobility to reduce the risk of falling in older age. It is a ‘use it or lose it’ game and at health clubs and gyms you have the benefit of some great classes, and safe spaces to exercise. Audley Clubs around the country offer ideal space and advice from fitness experts on how to improve your core stability and balance.

There are also some simple exercises you can do at home which will make a real difference.

Exercise of the month

Single leg stand

This has to be one of my favourite exercises - not only does it improve your balance but it also works your core stability and will improve your walking as you alternate strengthening the muscles in each leg.

The more you do it, the quicker you improve so in the kitchen, when brushing your teeth or standing at a window sill are all good spots.

  1. Standing by a counter top or a stable chair, hold on lightly (no white knuckles), up tall, tummy in and stand on one leg. 
  2. If you feel secure you can lightly lift your hands just up off the support. 
  3. Try to start with 10 seconds but build up to 20 seconds.
  4. Repeat twice on each leg.

Fall-proofing your home:

  • Proper lighting and making sure your route to the bathroom is well lit at night.
  • Tidying away cables and leads.
  • Making sure rugs are non slip and not curling at the edges.
  • Always use a non slip bath mat in the bath or shower and consider using grab rails.

There are some great suction based rails now available for bathrooms that are very easy to install and can provide an extra hand hold.

You can find out more about advice on how to reduce the risks of a fall in your home on the AgeUK website.

Five minutes of your time to read them, and few small changes in what you do could make all the difference. The Chartered Society of Physiotherapists has produced an excellent leaflet that I am very happy to email you a copy, just contact me at jenny@excelphysio.co.uk.

If you think you could benefit from a little extra guidance, either from our fitness experts in the Audley Club or our physiotherapy partners, please get in touch.

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