Strength and balance
We want people to be supported to maintain their muscle strength and balance as they grow older, helping them to remain healthy and reducing their risk of disability and falls.
We are helping to build the evidence base around the importance of maintaining strength and balance and increase the number of people taking part in effective strength and balance programmes.
Losing muscle strength is linked to a decline in ability to carry out basic daily activities like eating, bathing and getting dressed.
Muscle weakness and poor balance in later life are the most common preventable risk factors for falls. This is one reason why muscle strengthening and balance activities are strongly emphasised in the UK Chief Medical Officers’ physical activity guidelines for adults.
Yet many people are unaware of these guidelines or confused about what activities can make a difference. And it is not just the public who are unaware – these guidelines are also often overlooked or forgotten by commissioners, healthcare professionals and exercise professionals.
We are working to raise awareness of why and how people can maintain and improve their muscle strength and balance, and increase access to community-based programmes that will help them.