Improve Balance – Physical Activity Guidelines 2019

Improve Balance part of the Physical Activity Guidelines 2019

In Chichester feeling unsteady will ring true with many people with it's uneven pavements. Unfortunately not a lot can be done about the pavements but we can improve our balance.

Along with building our strength the Improve Balance section has seen greater emphasis in these guidelines compared with 2011. If you feel your balance is impaired you might start restricting your activity as you worry about falling and the consequences of a fall, however evidence shows that people who don't do any exercise are at greater risk of falling.

One in three adults over age 65 falls each year. There is 1 hip fracutre every 10 minutes, 1 wrist fracture every 9 minutes and 1 spine fracture every 3 minutes due to falls. However risk factors for falls such as poor balance, low strength, low power, poor gait and poor mobility can be modified with tailored exercise.

Balance is something that can be trained and improved on with the right exercises (and currently there is no evidence that bowls or dancing reduce the risk of falls). Most importantly balance exercises need to be done standing up at a level you are safely challenging yourself at. There was a big push for this from West Sussex County Council at the beginning of the year and some of you might have attended the Wellbalanced Workshops that are run by Chichester Wellbeing for free. In those workshops 6 strength and balance exercises are practised and an animated video of those exercises can be watched here.

Falls prevention animation - Older People’s Day 2017

If you practice at home make sure you are standing by something sturdy like a dining room chair or a kitchen counter. 

If you are interested in classes then I run Strength and Balance classes in the Chichester area and also do 1:1 sessions. If you are not in my area you can look on the Later Life Training Instructor directory to find someone near you who may run classes.

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