Otago Fall Prevention Programme

31 March 2020

Otago Fall Prevention Programme


As we age mobility, balance, coordination and flexibility are all affected.

The Otago plan is an evidence-based exercise programme created by Physiotherapists with The University of Otago, New Zealand.

It is one of the most widely researched exercises programmes for older adults and it has been validated to show improvements in mobility.

In its entirety it is a 6 month plan, but followed as prescribed for 12 weeks it can increase muscle strength and balance therefore improving mobility and reducing the risk of falls or associated injuries by up to 40%.

Improvements will also be gained in general function and independence, which can have a greatly beneficial impact on quality of life.

It consists of 17 strength and balance exercises which will take about 20 minutes to perform.

How to

On alternate days 3-4 times a week repeat each exercise the prescribed amount of times.

In the attached folder you will find the Otago plan containing exercise descriptions and diagrams there is also an exercise record which you can complete to record what you have done.

Repetitions - ie how many times that exercises is repeated.

Set - group of repetitions.
Example: 3 sets 12 reps = 36 repetitions total broken up into 3 chunks of 12 with a rest of 30-120 seconds

between each set.

The best way to perform the training plan is to perform all the exercises back to back for one set each then repeat until you have completed the prescribed amount of sets.

On ‘rest days’ allow your body to recover, so do not perform any specific strength or conditioning exercises on these days, Just go about your normal day.

You might notice some improvements within a few weeks or less, but more noticeable changes will appear at 6 weeks + with the greatest benefit felt at 8-12 weeks.

Remember change takes time and this is about progressive and sustainable change, the exercise is important as the stimulus for change, but rest is where that occurs and is as important as the work itself.

Download the programme here

Please note that the programme begins with a lot of information and the first exercise is on page 36.

If you feel safe to try this test: