Falls? Do the legwork

Strengthen Your Legs to prevent falls: new program from Injury Matters

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BEST FOOT FORWARD: One of the best ways to prevent falls is by strengthening your legs with activities you enjoy. Find out more at www.stayonyourfeet.com.au

BEST FOOT FORWARD: One of the best ways to prevent falls is by strengthening your legs with activities you enjoy. Find out more at www.stayonyourfeet.com.au

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Each year one in three Australians over 65 have a fall. Here's how to prevent it.

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WE’RE all familiar with the term ‘stretching your legs’.

Now seniors in Western Australia are being urged to strengthen their legs.

The message is part of a falls prevention campaign by not-for-profit organisation Injury Matters.

The West Australian-based falls prevention body launched its latest Move, Improve, Remove campaign in Geraldton in September at Queen Elizabeth II Seniors and Community Centre.

The campaign is part of its Stay on Your Feet program focusing on the importance of having strong legs to prevent falls.

The Strengthen Your Legs campaign runs until the end of November with community events planned across the state.

“One of the best ways to prevent falls is by strengthening your legs with activities you enjoy,” said injury prevention manager Rachel Meade.

“Each year one in three Australians over 65 have a fall... but falls are preventable.”

She said as part of getting older, people may experience changes in their leg strength which can put them at risk of a fall.

This can include loss of muscle mass and not being able produce force quickly enough to stop a trip turning into a fall.

“Having strong legs is a great way to prevent slips, trips and falls,” she said.

“Taking just 30 minutes a day, there are enjoyable strength and balance activities to suit everyone.”

FALLING NUMBERS

  • 1 in 3 people over 65 will fall each year, some resulting in serious injury.
  • Falls are the leading cause of injury requiring hospitalisation in Australia.
  • In WA between 2011 and 2015, there were 1,165 deaths due to falls.
  • During that time there were 119,413 hospitalisations in WA due to falls.
  • Just over half the hospitalisations for falls were females.
  • In 2015, there were 23,870, hospitalisations for falls in WA, taking up an estimated 157,000 bed days at a cost of around $198.5million.
  • People aged 65 and over had the highest incidence of falls.

To get hold of a free Strengthen Your Legs information pack visit www.stayonyourfeet.com.au or phone 1300 303-540. 

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