1. Skip to content

Sports Partnership Focus on Preventing Falls

Posted: Wed, 18 Oct 2017 16:26

Sports Partnership Focus on Preventing Falls

As the latest Sport England report reveals that over a third of people aged over 65 are 'inactive', the Sports Partnership Herefordshire and Worcestershire are focusing on improving individuals' strength and balance.

It is well known that keeping active has no end of health benefits but as people get older the amount of activity they do often decreases.

The most recent Active People Survey from Sport England, published last week, suggests that 35.3 per cent of people over the age of 65 are classed as inactive, meaning they undertake less than 30 minutes sport or recreational activity a week.

And yet it is as important to stay active in later years as it is at any other stage of life.

30% of people over the age of 65 and 50% over the age of 80 will fall at least once a year and one reason for this is the loss of strength and balance due to inactivity.

The Sports Partnership Herefordshire and Worcestershire (SPHW) has been running strength and balance classes in Worcestershire for nearly 3 years.

They are aimed at any older person who has had a fall or feels unsteady on their feet and are designed to improve strength and balance while increasing confidence.

An instructor guides participants through exercises to increase stamina and help with balance while on the move, build muscle and bone strength. The participants are also helped to learn how to get up safely after a fall and the class ends with some relaxation and stretching.

All of the exercises can be done seated or standing and people are given an exercise handout to encourage them to continue with their exercises at home.

Strength and balance class instructor Holly Cook, said: "The strength and balance classes are designed to help improve participants' muscles and bone strength as well as their balance and stability.

"The classes can have a big impact on the participants' confidence, which in turn can help in reducing the number of falls they have but also enable them to live more independently.

"We've also seen that the classes can have a great social element to them as well - allowing them to meet new people and make friends.

"During my time running these classes I have seen some great results with a high number of participants."

One participant said, "When I started the classes three months ago, I felt very unsafe outside the home without using my walking stick. This class has given me the confidence to walk short distances without a stick."

The hour-long classes are held in community venues all over Worcestershire and people can self-refer by contacting the SPHW on 01905 855498 or they can be referred by a health professional.

Tags: Active Ageing, Worcestershire