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Falls are a big problem for older adults, one in three older adults will fall each year often leaving them fearful of falling and lacking confidence to walk and be active which is vital for independence.
One of the most effective ways to prevent falls and mobility decline is strength and balance training.
This work package will evaluate ways to deliver effective strength and balance training and increase our understanding of what puts an older person at risk of mobility decline and falling.

Part of our Improving Health and Social Care research theme



  • To develop and evaluate ways to deliver effective strength, mobility and balance training for older adults and increase our understanding of what puts an older person at risk of mobility decline and falling.



  • To gain research funding to develop and test interventions that focus on increasing muscle strength, balance and walking ability in older adults.

  • To develop a screening tool for identifying older adults at risk of mobility decline and falls.

  •  To understand the impact that COVID-19 has had on older people, particularly the impact on mobility decline and the risk of falls.


Expected Impact

  • We will produce a screening tool for use in primary care to identify when older adults are at risk of mobility decline.
  • This will allow clinicians to identify when additional support or intervention should be provided for patients in order to help them maintain their mobility which is vital for independence.  
  • We expect to submit this work for publication by the end of 2021.
  •  Ongoing analysis of the OPAL cohort over the next year will help us to further understand when older people are at risk of falls and mobility decline including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and to understand how pain and comorbidities may influence these factors.
  • In the longer term, we plan to develop effective interventions that help older people to maintain their mobility, prevent falls and improve their quality of life with potential cost savings related to reducing the need for health and social care.

Related research themes