Regular exercise helps reduce risk of falls

Older people should take sufficient calcium, and keep their home neat and well-lit

Simple adjustments can help older people reduce the risk of falls. The Health Promotion Board offers these five tips:

1 Exercise regularly: Stay active with 150 minutes of physical activity every week. Do strength and balance exercises, such as taiji and qigong, at least twice a week. You can also do these exercises:

Warm-ups: Stationary march with arm swing

For flexibility: Tricep stretch

For balance: Single-leg stand

Cool-down: Standing quadricep stretch

2 Keep your bones strong: Weak bones tend to break more easily.

Older folk should take sufficient calcium - the daily requirement for those aged 51 years and above is 1,000mg.

Calcium-rich foods include milk, spinach or tau kwa. You can also take calcium supplements.

3 Go for regular eye-checks: Do an eye check-up once a year. This ensures that you are not wearing glasses with the wrong prescription or suffering from eye conditions such as glaucoma or cataracts.

4 Wear well-fitting, non-slip shoes: Put them on even if you are just going somewhere nearby.

5 Keep your home safe and neat: Rearrange furniture to make clear paths for walking and keep your home well-lit so that you can see better.

Lester Wong

•The Falls Prevention Awareness Campaign guides for senior folk and caregivers can be downloaded at

No More Hazards, No More Falls

Older people should start with a warm-up exercise such as a stationary march with arm swing (above). PHOTO: HEALTH PROMOTION BOARD

Tricep stretch for flexibility. PHOTO: HEALTH PROMOTION BOARD

LEFT: Single-leg stand for balance. RIGHT: Standing quadricep stretch to cool down. PHOTOS: HEALTH PROMOTION BOARD

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 01, 2016, with the headline 'Regular exercise helps reduce risk of falls'. Print Edition | Subscribe