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Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls

Walking and Balance

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To be independent, you need to get out of bed, move around the house, go to and from a car, and get out to see your friends and family. Age can change how you walk, and lack of physical activity can, too.

These change may include:

  • ​tiring more quickly
  • feeling unsteady when standing
  • losing strength in your leg muscles
  • losing feeling or having pain in your feet or legs

Signs of possible problems with your balance are:

  • you get dizzy when you get up quickly
  • the room spins when you turn your head fast
  • you are unsteady and hold onto walls or furniture when walking

We rely a lot on our vision to help our balance. So our balance will change if we need new glasses or our vision is poor.

Walking with your hands in your pockets and carrying a heavy purse can change your balance. So can unsupportive footwear.

Take Action

  • Be physically active every day (see Stay Active).​
  • Rest when you feel tired.
  • Sit to get dressed if you feel unsteady.
  • Use a walking aid if you have balance problems. Talk to your healthcare provider about aids that are right for you and before starting a new physical activity.
  • Rearrange kitchen cupboards so most items you use are between your hip and eye level.

Walking and​ Balance Resources

If you live in an area where there are no recreation or fitness centres, consider using designed trails, school gyms, the local indoor or strip mall, or the indoor hockey rink.

To learn more about your risk of falling complete the “Is there a chance you might fall?” checklist.​

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Current as of: June 30, 2019

Author: Fall Risk Management Program