The Otago exercise programme was developed to help prevent falls in the older adult. It was researched and developed by the Falls Prevention Research Group at the University of Otago Medical School.

The programme reduced the fall rate by 35 percent among program participants (with no gender bias) compared with those who did not take part. Participants aged 80 years and older who had fallen in the previous year showed the greatest benefit.

The programme consists of strengthening and balance exercises combined with a walking plan. No expensive equipment is needed and it can be done at home. The programme involves four home visits over the first two months, a home visit at 6 months and a telephone call every month between visits, concluding with a final home visit at 12 months.

More information about the trial, the programme and the exercises can be found here

Otago Exercise Programme to help prevent falls in older adults.

Some qualified Otago Leaders are registered on Later Lifes Falls Directory   if you wish to try and get in contact with someone who provides the programme. You can also contact your local primary care trust (PCT) about the services that are available in your local area.

I hope you have found this article informative. If you have any questions on this article, or any questions about exercise and the over-50s please post a comment.

Helen Witcomb is a personal trainer in the Farnham area, please go here Whole Life Fitness, Personal Training for the over 50s. for more information. This will open a new browser window



Having worked in IT in London for 15 years I was made redundant in 2009. I had trained as a gym instructor whilst working and decided I would rather spend the rest of my career doing something I loved than look for another job in IT. I furthered my qualifications with a Certificate in Advanced Personal Training from the highly regarded Premier Training. Many personal trainers are generalists covering all areas of fitness but I took the decision to specialise in the over-50s and therefore went on to do a CYQ Award in Functional Training for the Independent Older Adult Level 3. My focus is on overall health rather than fitness. I believe that making small changes can have a long term positive effect on health and well-being.

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