Monash University Accident Research Centre conducted the first NoFalls program in collaboration with the City of Whitehorse in the late 1990's.
This was a randomised controlled trial testing the effectiveness of a number of falls prevention interventions for older people. One of the findings of this study was that one intervention in particular, the NoFalls Exercise Program, produced significant reductions in falls risks.
(Day, L., Fildes, B., Gordon, I., Fitzharris, M., Flamer, H. & Lord, S. (2002) 'Randomised factorial trial of falls prevention among older people living in their own homes', British Medical Journal (BMJ), 325 (7356), July 20, 2002, pp128-131) (www.bmj.com)
NoFalls is a 15-week group exercise program, with a strong focus on balance enhancement. Studies have shown that balance can be improved through challenging the balance systems, practicing balance strategies and improving strength and flexibility.
The NoFalls exercises emphasise:
- Muscle extensibility, and to a lesser extent, joint flexibility
- Strength of muscles critical for posture and balance
- Visual and vestibular stimulation
- Reaction time
- Relearning the elements of a balance task