Evidence Based Exercise Classes

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Fall Prevention Programs

Most of the programs below are available in-person and remotely.

A matter of balance

A Matter of Balance is an eight-week structured group intervention that emphasizes practical strategies to reduce fear of falling and increase activity levels.

    Message the contacts below to learn more:

    • Erin (Central Washington)
    • Phil (Aging and Long-Term Care of Eastern WA)
    • Deidre (King County)

    Bingocize® Is a 10-week program that combines a bingo-like game with exercise and health education. The unique addition of bingo addresses many of the barriers to older adults’ participation because the game is fun, familiar, and done in a group setting. The program has been shown to increase older adults’ functional fitness, health knowledge, and social engagement in a variety of settings. The overall goals of the program are to help older adults improve and/or maintain mobility and independence, learn and use health information focused on falls reduction and other health-related behaviors, and socially engage with other older adults. A mobile app version is also available.

    For more information please see the Alliance for Aging Bingocize site.

    Enhance fitness

    EnhanceFitness is low-cost, evidence-based group falls prevention and physical activity program developed specifically for older adults. The exercises have been packaged into a formal regimen focusing on four key areas important to the health and fitness of mature participants: low impact cardiovascular; dynamic/static balance work, strength training and stretching. Classes meet three times a week, an hour each session, providing social stimulation as well as physical benefits.

    See the Project Enhance site for class locations.

    Contact Project Enhance to learn more about training, classes and support.

    FallsTalk and FallScape

    FallsTalk is an individual program for anyone who has experienced a fall or regular loss of balance; regardless of walking ability, medical condition, mobility or fitness level. FallScape consists of one or two training sessions with a set of brief (less than 1 min.) multimedia vignettes that are selected specifically to help an individual prevent falls in their own unique situation.

    FallsTalk is offered in the Aging and Long Term Care of Eastern WA service area.

    FallsTalk and FallScape are also available in other counties in Washington state.  For more information and classes contact Dr. Victoria Panzer.

    The Otago exercise program

    The Otago Exercise Program (OEP) is a series of 17 strength and balance exercises delivered by a physical therapist (PT) or a physical therapy assistant in the home, outpatient or community setting that reduces falls between 35 and 40 percent for frail older adults.

    DOH manages the Washington Otago Network for clinicians, agencies and organizations interested in offering and expanding Otago in our state. Email us for more information on the Washington Otago Network.

    Stay Active and Independent for Life (SAIL)
    Stay Active and Independent for life logo

    Stay Active and Independent for Life (SAIL) is a strength, balance and fitness program for adults 65 and older. Performing exercises that improve strength, balance, and fitness are the single most important activity that adults can do to stay active and reduce their chance of falling. The entire curriculum of activities in the SAIL program can help improve strength and balance, if done regularly. SAIL is offered three times a week in a one-hour class. SAIL exercises can be done standing or sitting. The primary target audience is community-dwelling older adults (65+) and people with a history of falls. The SAIL program is able to accommodate people with a mild level of mobility difficulty (e.g. people who are occasional cane users).
    SAIL was developed in Washington with DOH support. Check out SAIL or SAIL history for more information. Find a SAIL class near you.

    If you are considering the SAIL Program as part of your community's falls free action plan, please email Cindy Jaffe, Washington State SAIL Coordinator for more information.

    Tai Chi for arthritis and falls prevention
    Many studies have shown Tai Chi to be one of the most effective exercises for preventing falls. Tai Chi for Arthritis and fall prevention helps people with arthritis to improve muscular strength, flexibility, balance, stamina, and more.

    Tai Chi for Arthritis and Falls Prevention is available in many areas of the state, see the program website for instructor listings. Find a Tai Chi for Health class or instructor near you.

    Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance

    Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance (TJQMBB) is an evidence based fall prevention program specifically designed for balance training in older adults. Developed by Dr Fuzhong Li, PhD, a senior research scientist at the Oregon Research Institute, the unique TJQMBB training approach is the result of more than 15 years of research and community evaluation which culminated in a well-organized community based program which includes an 8-form core routine, practice variations and therapeutic subroutine. This nationally recognized fall prevention program is an enhancement of traditional Tai Chi transforming movements into therapeutic training for balance and mobility.

    Designed for older adults and people with balance disorders, TJQMBB is a leading exercise program for effective fall prevention. TJQMBB Community Based Classes are held twice a week for 24 weeks. Community based classes are approved for both virtual and in person delivery.

    Find a class near you.

    TJQMBB class instructors

    The 16 hour Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance (TJQMBB) Instructor Course is open to all community based instructors. No prior experience with Tai Chi is necessary. All TJQMBB class instructors have completed the 2 day training and teach the curriculum found in the TJQMBB Class Teaching Plan.

    Instructor training course information and registration are on betterbalance.net.


    TJQMBB Fall Prevention effectiveness is evidenced by randomized control trials that show a reduction in incidence of falls by 58% in community dwelling older adults and by 67% in people with Parkinson's disease. TJQMBB studies also show significant improvements in strength, balance, limits of stability, sensory orientation and functional mobility. The most recent Randomized Clinical Trial (RCT) “Effectiveness of a Therapeutic Tai Ji Quan Intervention vs a Multimodal Exercise Intervention to Prevent Falls Among Older Adults at High Risk of Falling.” was published in October 2018 in JAMA Internal Medicine. You can access this study and a complete list of publications on their website.

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