Falling – Facts & Falls Prevention Copy


Hover over each box to learn about a fact.

Researchers have demonstrated that those people who fall to the side (onto the greater trochanter, for example) are 6-20 times more likely to sustain a fracture compared to other fallers. 

Other research using computer modelling has concluded that falling on the hip laterally with the leg internally rotated results in a high possibility of fracture as the femoral neck is weakest to posterolateral blow. 

Previous long-term care study presented at National Falls Conference revealed that falls in long-term care facilities occurred largely because of poor response time to protective arm movement & arm weakness.

Falls Prevention

Updated systematic review of falls prevention (Sherrington et al., 2016) gives 9 best practice recommendations:

  1. Exercise must provide a high challenge to balance
    • Choose exercises that safely: reduce base of support, move centre of gravity and control body position in standing, standing without using arms for support (or reduce reliance on upper limbs)
  2. Exercise must be of sufficient dose (approx 3 hrs weekly)
  3. Ongoing exercise is necessary
  4. Falls prevention exercise should be targeted at the general public as well as those at high risk
  5. Falls prevention exercise can be done at home or in group exercise

6. Walking retraining can be included in addition to balance retraining, but high risk individuals should NOT be prescribed  brisk walking

7. Strength training may be included in addition to balance exercises

8. Exercise providers should make referrals for other at-risk factors to be addressed

9. Exercise as a single intervention doesn’t prevent falls in all populations.   Exercise should be delivered to patients with co-morbidities by providers with particular expertise.