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New strength classes to reduce falls in older adults

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

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Five new strength and balance classes for older adults, designed to reduce falls and improve movement confidence, are being launched next month as part of a Sport Bay of Plenty initiative.

Keep on your Feet is about creating access to approved community group strength and balance classes across Western and Eastern Bay of Plenty, as part of a nation-wide drive to reduce falls and fractures, and support older people to ‘live stronger for longer’.

With seven already established classes around the region joining the Keep on your Feet project, five brand new classes are being created in Te Puke, Greerton, Papamoa East, Poike and Arataki to improve access for the community to these much-needed group exercise sessions.

Project Leader Jen Riley says, the classes Sport Bay of Plenty is helping to co-ordinate will involve simple but effective exercises that will improve leg strength and also challenge participants balance in a fun and safe environment.

“Falling over and losing your strength and balance shouldn’t be considered a natural part of ageing and many falls are preventable through simple and effective strength and balance exercises. In actual fact, improving your strength and balance is considered to be one of the most modifiable risk factor with regards to having a fall.”

Falls cause around 40 per cent of ACC claims for people aged between 65 and 69 years, and around 60 per cent of those claims are for those aged over 85.

“The severity of fall-related injuries increases with age,” says Jen, “which is why it is important to maintain good leg and core strength as we get older to help us live stronger for longer and maintain our independence.”

Click here for a full list of classes near you.

If you are interested in offering a strength and balance class in your community, or you would like to be trained up as a strength and balance instructor get in touch with Jen Riley, Keep on your Feet Project Leader, on 027 419 0067 or email jenr@sportbop.co.nz

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