It’s never too late to get active. The Better Balance for Fall Prevention campaign, developed by the NSW Fall Prevention and Healthy Ageing Network and supported by COTA NSW, has been launched in conjunction with April Falls Month.
The last two years have been difficult with many social and fitness groups unable to continue due to COVID. This has contributed to an increase in inactivity and deconditioning in many adults regardless of ability. The Better Balance for Fall Prevention campaign aims to help older people find appropriate exercise programs to meet their needs and interests.
For optimal physical and mental health, it is recommended that all adults (regardless of age, health, or ability) to do 30-60min of physical activity most days. To prevent falls and maintain independence this should include exercise or activities that improve strength and balance. Every bit of activity helps.
Professor Cathie Sherrington, an expert researcher at Sydney University, in the field of falls prevention says, “Falls are a leading cause of injury and death in older people, but research has shown that falls can be prevented.” Exercise of any type has been shown to reduce the risk of falling by 23%. This means that if 1000 people in a community experiencing 850 falls a year started and maintained an exercise program, they would experience 195 fewer falls due to that exercise over the course of a year.
Cathie also says, “We have found that placing a greater emphasis on balance and strength training and slowly building up to a high challenge can further increase the effects of exercise on reducing falls by up to 40%.”
Speak to your local GP if you are concerned about your health, you may also be eligible for the Enhanced Primary Care referral program. This will allow you to start your exercise journey safely.
For more information on April Falls visit https://fallsnetwork.neura.edu.au/aprilfalls.
Whatever way you choose to start, begin slow and build up gradually. Every bit helps!