May Golden Research Article

Long-term follow-up of exercise interventions aimed at preventing falls in older people living in the community: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Finnegan, S., Seers, K., and Bruce, J. (2019)


As we age, we tend to be less active. This is concerning, particularly when looking at the triadic relationship between ageing, inactivity and the risk of falling.

The current evidence supporting exercise prescription for falls prevention have only come from a short follow-up period (less then 12 months). In turn, this systematic review aimed at determining the long-term effect of exercise-interventions on preventing falls in community-dwelling older adults.


Participants that completed the interventions had a 21% lower rate of falling after one year compared to those that did not complete the intervention.

When examining the time period of the interventions it was identified that individuals who participated in a program less then 6 months had a 21% lower rate of falls, while if they participated in a 6-12 month long intervention there was a 33% lower rate of a fall, and those that participated in a longer than 12 month intervention had a 36% lower rate of a fall.

There was a relative risk reduction of 17% if the older adult participated in the intervention group compared to those not completing the intervention. Tai chi furthermore, reduced the risk of a fall by 16%.

Key Points

  • Fall prevention program exercise programs have a long-term effect on falls.
  • The optimal type of intervention depends on the individual’s needs.

Adaptive Physiotherapy offers weekly falls prevention classes at an affordable cost with a government subsidy as part of the Move it Aus – Better Ageing initiative. Please  contact the clinic for more information on 42608574.

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