Strength & Balance

Community Strength & Balance is an ACC funded initiative aimed at preventing falls and fractures in adults aged over 65.

Sport Manawatū is the Lead Agency for Community Strength and Balance classes for the MidCentral Region and is part of  a wider falls and fractures network. The networks works together to support older people to stay independent and injury free.

Want to join a strength and balance class?

Sport Manawatu is helping New Zealanders to live stronger for longer by supporting the development of community strength and balance exercise classes throughout the MidCentral region.

Research has shown that when people do exercises to strengthen their leg and core muscles, their balance improves and their risk of falls reduces by almost a third.

Find a class near you

Live Stronger Logo

Contact Tina 
Community Strength 
& Balance Coordinator

Want to join the Live Stronger for Longer Movement?

If you run an exercise class for older people, or have been thinking of starting, we’d like to hear from you.

ACC, the Ministry of Health, District Health Boards, Primary Health Organisations, and Sport Manawatu are working together to develop and support, approved community strength and balance classes throughout New Zealand communities.

What are the benefits of becoming an approved community group strength and balance class?

You will be:

  • Part of a national network.
  • Given FREE training from your Lead Agency to support you to deliver approved community group strength and balance classes.
  • Given support to continue to meet the criteria.
  • Able to use the quality logo tick of approval and benefit from national promotion.
  • Linked to the local communities (GPs, nurses, physiotherapists, pharmacists, podiatrists) and other organisations involved in preventing falls in your region.
  • Joining a network of other like-minded professionals and organisations to share success, challenges and ideas, and
  • Benefiting from increased referrals to your exercise programme.

What are the benefits for older people in my community?

They will increase their strength and balance, reduce their risk of falls and fall related injuries (e.g. broken hips), continue to contribute to their families and communities and live in independent lives.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ’s for Participants

  • Why approved Strength and Balance Classes? 
    • Falls are a common cause of injury for older people; but falls are not a normal part of aging and many falls are preventable.
    • Older people with muscle weakness and limitations affecting mobility are 3-5 times more likely to fall.
    • Multi-component community based exercise classes which target strength and balance in older people can reduce the risk of falling by 29%.
  • Who can attend a class?
    • All New Zealanders who are 65+ and at risk of falling.
  • What will the class involve?
    • Classes are suited to the needs of the community they serve.
  • How do I find a class?
  • Will I have to wear lycra to join in? 
    • No, unless you want to of course! Comfortable clothes that you can move in and flat comfortable shoes are the only requirements.
  • Will I keep up?
    • You work at your own pace and ability, the instructor is always on hand for assistance.
    • Each class will be required to incorporate exercises that reduce falls and meet a set of nine criteria. Once the class can do these things, they will be entitled to carry the community group strength and balance endorsement ‘tick’.

FAQ’s for Providers

  • How will Sport Manawatu work with providers and class leaders?
    • Sport Manawatu want to support the expansion of evidence-based community group strength and balance classes, to allow them to be readily accessible to those who will benefit most and improve health outcomes for older people.
      • Individualised support to help your class meet approved criteria
      • Provide resources for use within your class
      • Be recognised through the ‘quality tick’ logo and benefit from national recognition
      • Community driven approach
      • Create alliances and partnerships across the community
      • Encourage and support safe practices