24 January 2017

A new countywide network of OTAGO trained specialist exercise trainers is now up and running aimed at helping to reduce the number of older people in Northamptonshire who have a fall.


Each year around one third of all people aged over 65 will have a fall and the consequences can be significant, often triggering a downward spiral of loss of confidence and independence, with increased reliance on health and social care services.

To help tackle this, a group of 14 exercise professionals has successfully completed the OTAGO programme leader training course which enables them to offer the exercise programme to older people across the county. The OTAGO exercise programme is an effective, evidence-based programme which is specifically designed to help older people increase their strength and balance, and therefore reduce the risk of them having a fall.

Standing Up for Ourselves

The OTAGO training was funded by Northamptonshire County Council as part of a joint strategy called Standing Up for Ourselves which has been developed in partnership with the NHS and other local and voluntary sector groups to transform the county's approach to falls prevention and promoting bone health.

Councillor Sylvia Hughes, county council cabinet member for public health and wellbeing said: “Congratulations to this first cohort of staff now fully trained in the OTAGO exercise programme. They will be working with people who may have fallen or feel unsteady on their feet or have concerns about balance and movement, to help to increase their strength and mobility, and in doing so prevent falls and injuries.

“Research shows that regular participation in exercise of this nature has a real and positive impact on falls prevention, reducing the likelihood of individuals being admitted to hospital with serious and potentially life-changing consequences. Plus these fun and friendly exercise classes are also a chance to socialise and try something new.”

Visit the Northamptonshire Sport website to find an OTAGO session near you.