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This content is taken from the Newcastle University's online course, Ageing Well: Why Older People Fall. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 12 seconds Now that we’ve learned the importance of keeping fit and active and keeping our muscles strong, we’re going to see some of the exercises that might help you do that. These exercises are designed to prevent falls, build confidence and keep you independent and healthy. During the exercise class we start with a warm up. Usually it lasts about 15 minutes, and during it we do some simple stretches to get our muscles moving a bit better. Ann is the instructor for the class, and here she describes a little bit more about what the class involves. If you come to one of these classes you will be doing some exercise. We start with the warm up. You can stand up or sit down.

Skip to 0 minutes and 57 seconds There’s a mixture of abilities. We do endurance, we do balance, and strength exercise, and a cool-down. It’s great fun. So after you’ve warmed up, we move into the endurance section of the exercise class. During this you’ll be doing exercises such as marching using a chair for support, and side-stepping. If you’re not able to stand, doing these exercises while seated is an option. The next section is a balance section. It usually lasts about ten minutes, and people perform heel and toe stands, still using their chair for support. They balance on one leg and then the other, and then perform tandem walks forwards and backwards.

Skip to 1 minute and 45 seconds The final section is a strength section. In this section we perform exercise for outer thighs, legs, wrists, and spine, usually using resistance bands if you have them available. Again, you can perform these exercises seated or standing if that’s easier. At the end of the class we’ll finish off with a cool-down section. This usually lasts about ten minutes and involves some more stretches to make sure that you keep your muscles loose.

Skip to 2 minutes and 19 seconds Having watched this film, you’ll understand more what’s involved in an exercise class and you’ll be able to see the kind of exercises that we use to encourage people to maintain a healthy lifestyle, keep their muscles strong, and be more active.

Falls prevention exercises

Welcome to our final week. This week we will look at more things we can do to help treat and prevent falls.


There is no doubt that keeping active will keep the body more healthy during the ageing process. Exercise is one of the most effective treatments for people who fall. It not only improves muscle strength and function but it improves balance and stamina. It helps keeps nerve signals strong, keeps the inner ear healthy and maintains a healthy cardiovascular system.

Although exercise is good for our general health, not all exercises have proven benefit in preventing falls. We will explore different types of exercise in one of our following steps.

This video contains exercises specifically developed for falls prevention. Here, the exercise is performed in a class; this is one of the most common ways of delivering this treatment. However, some exercises can be taught in people’s own homes on a one-to-one basis, or sometimes may be delivered in a clinic. Exercises can be provided to anyone, regardless of their ability.

However the treatment is delivered, it is one of our most powerful therapies. Watch this video to experience what a falls prevention exercise class looks like.

  • Can you think of any more benefits of attending a class like this?

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This video is from the free online course:

Ageing Well: Why Older People Fall

Newcastle University

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