Stay Active and Independent for Life is a strength, balance and fitness program for adults 65 and older. Performing exercises that improve strength, balance and fitness is the single most important activity adults can do to stay active and reduce their chances of falling. The entire curriculum of activities in the Stay Active and Independent for Life (SAIL) program can help improve strength and balance, if done regularly.
SAIL is a public-domain program, which means there are no initial site license fees and no yearly renewal fees for conducting SAIL classes. SAIL has been approved by the Administration for Community Living (ACL) (previously known as the Administration on Aging) as an evidence-based program.
Learn about SAIL history and background.
- SAIL community classes
- SAIL program leaders
Stay Active and Independent for Life (SAIL) classes are conducted by fitness, exercise science and healthcare professionals who have completed SAIL program leader training. Program leaders usually have an exercise science or clinical practice background. All program leaders are carefully selected for their ability to deliver effective and efficient training, while adhering to the core components of the SAIL program. Leaders work with participants to help achieve the best results from the fitness classes.
In Washington, there are two ways to become a SAIL program leader:
- Attend a sponsored, in-person class throughout the state. The in-person training is highly interactive, with an emphasis on learning by doing, rather than learning by listening to a lecture. The training includes practice of the SAIL fitness class, as well as the standardized tests of strength and balance that are used as outcome measures.
- Enroll in the Pierce College online course. The online training is especially appropriate for potential SAIL program leaders with an exercise science, healthcare, physical, occupational or recreational therapy background.
If you are looking for SAIL Training outside of Washington State, you may attend the online Pierce College training, or contact SAIL Seminars for a training at your site.
The Blue SAIL Guide (PDF) offers written information for adults age 65 and older on topics such as Building Your Fitness Plan, Understanding Your Health Issues and Keeping Yourself Independent Through Home Safety (25 pages).
SAIL materials are public domain and may be reproduced without permission. If you use or adapt SAIL materials, please credit the Washington State Department of Health, Injury and Violence Prevention Program.
See the following published articles for more information on the benefits of SAIL for seniors:
- Laing S, Silver I, York S, Phelan E. Fall prevention knowledge, attitudes and practices of community stakeholders and older adults (PDF). Journal of Aging Research, Vol. 2011 (2011) article ID 395357;
- York SC, Shumway-Cook A, Silver I, Morrison C. A translational research evaluation of the “Stay Active and Independent for Life” (SAIL): a community-based fall prevention exercise and education program. Health Promotion Practice; 12(6):832-839, November 2011;
- Carlson T, York SC, Primomo J. The utilization of geographic information systems to create a site selection strategy to disseminate an older adult fall prevention program (PDF). The Social Science Journal; January 2011, 48(1):159-174,
- Shumway-Cook A, Silver IF, LeMier M, York S, Cummings P, Koepsell T. The effectiveness of a community-based multi-factorial intervention on falls and fall risk factors in community living older adults: A randomized, controlled trial (PDF). Journal of Gerontology: Medical Science 2007; 62(12):1420-1427.
Contact and Connect
Contact us | To get important information about older adult falls, select the “Subscribe” button at the bottom of the page and then search for "Finding our Balance."