The Fall Prevention Project

LOW IMPACT ACTIVITY PROGRAM

Adapted from Tideiksaar, R. (1997). Falling in old age. Prevention and Management. Springer Publishing Company, (2), 245.

To be sure that the exercises are appropriate for you, have a health care professional review them.  Use a sturdy chair so that it does not move while you are performing your exercises.  Do a few repetitions at a time and slowly increase until you reach the maximum number.  If you feel unsteady or not comfortable performing them by yourself, have someone nearby or perform them with you.

Side leg lift
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Side leg lift: Hold on to the back of the chair with one hand for support.  Slowly raise one leg to the side and put it back down.  Try to do this without bending forward.  Repeat 6 to 8 times.  Turn around and hold on to the chair.  Slowly raise the other leg 6 to 8 times.

 

Back leg lift
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Back leg lift:  Hold on to the back of the chair with both hands for support.  Keep your knee straight and lift right leg slowly behind you, then put the foot back on the floor.  Repeat with the left leg.   Alternate lifting the right and left leg 10 times.

Knee bends
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Knee bends:  Hold on to the back of the chair with both hands for support.  Life the right foot off the ground by bending the knee, and then put the foot back on the floor.  Repeat 10 times.

 

Toe rises (Tippy toes)
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Toe rises (Tippy toes):   Hold on to the back of the chair with both hands for support.  Stand on your tip toes then back down.  Repeat 10 times.  This exercise can also be done while sitting.

 

Leg stretches
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Leg stretches:  Hold on to the back of the chair with both hands for support.  Step back with one leg.   Bend the front leg a little and keep both feet flat.  A slight stretch will be felt in the back leg.  Repeat 5 times on each leg.

 

Figure eight
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Figure eight:  Hold on to the back of the chair with both hands for support.  Sway the body in a figure eight motion for 20 seconds.  If this makes you feel dizzy, stop and sit down until the dizziness disappears.

 

Trunk flexing
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Trunk flexing:  Place hands on hips.  Lean gently to the right and hold for 15 seconds.  Then lean gently to the left and hold for 15 seconds.  Repeat for 2 times.  This exercise can also be done while sitting.

 

Arm circles
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Arm circles: Move arms about 6 inches from the sides.  Begin arm circles and move arms upward to shoulder height then move down again.  Repeat 2 times.  This exercise can also be done while sitting.

 

Sit and stand
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Sit and stand: Sit in the chair.  Stand up and sit down 8 times.  Pause upon standing so you do not become dizzy.  Also pause upon sitting.  Repeat for 8 times.

 

Foot lifts
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Foot lifts: Sit in the chair.   Lift the leg to straighten the knee, then put the foot back on the floor.   Life one leg for 6-8 times.  Repeat with the other leg.

Neck bending
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Neck bending: Sit on the chair.   Slowly and gently drop your head to the right ear moves toward the right shoulder.   Hold for a couple of seconds then slowly move the head back up upright.   Repeat 5 times.  Then slowly and gently drop your head so the left ear moves slowly toward the left shoulder.  Repeat 5 times.  Try to keep your shoulders down.

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Fall Prevention Project
R. A. Newton, PT, Ph.D.
1998

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Web version 1.5 1999 Fall Prevention Project
Last Revised 3/30/04RAN