5 Reasons Why Senior Citizens Should Perform Balance Exercises

Balance training is often said to be beneficial for elderly individuals, but why? When motivating ourselves to perform an intervention it can be extremely beneficial to know precisely why we are performing the intervention. In terms of balance training, there are specific reasons why it might help elderly individuals live longer, with higher quality lives, which is very motivating. Let’s look look at the 5 reasons why elderly individuals should use balance training.

4 min read
Sean Klein
Written by
Sean Klein
Published on
Last updated
Lower Body

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In This Resource
  • Decline of Balance with Age
  • Prevent Falls
  • Preserve Quality of Life
  • Lower Risk of Mortality
  • Balance Training is Effective

Decline of Balance with Age

There is a non-linear relationship between balance and age (1). This however doesn’t mean that age doesn’t impact balance, it shows that there is a cut off point where balance and lower extremity strength see a sever reduction. The threshold seems to differ for different individuals. This shows that as we age we get closure to this drop off in balance. Therefore we can say that training balance as a physical characteristic can prolong the drop off in balance capabilities.

Prevent Falls

Falling as an elderly individual can be very serious. The reality is that falls can cause very severe injuries in elderly individuals, head injuries, knee injuries, hip injuries can all have a very negative impact. Balance is the physical characteristic that enables our bodies to remain upright and have a lower risk of falling.

In a group of individuals with balance disorder 58.1% had fallen within the last year whereas only 29.8% of people without balance disorder had fallen (2). This represents how important balance is for preventing falls. If we know that one factor that causes falls is poor balance, then this is a very motivating reason to perform balance. Fall prevention is multidisciplinary so be sure you are discussing this with your doctor and creating a full plan.

Preserve Quality of Life

Injuries sustained from falls can have a huge impact on quality of life. When we are younger and our bodies are more capable at the recovery process, an injury can be frustrating, but is often considered something that will come and go. When we age however, these injuries can linger with us for years after, or never make a full recovery. This is often due to the reduced muscle mass and bone density which is associated with aging, making the severity of the injuries sustained higher. If these injuries can be mitigated in the first place, through balance training, then quality of life can be maintained.

The difference in quality of life when you are able to move around freely and without assistance is enormous compared to needing constant support. This ability to move freely can be made more likely through performing both balance training, but also resistance training more generally. Hip fractures are one of the most common causes of injury from falls and we can see the relationship between hip fractures and quality of life when we see that “one half of all older adults hospitalised for hip fracture never regain their former level of function”(3).

Lower Risk of Mortality

The reduction in mobility caused by falls can increase the chance of mortality (4). When we are unable to move, our VO2 max reduces, our strength metrics reduce and we become much more susceptible. This is why grip strength, leg strength and VO2 max are such strong predictors or mortality.

Balance Training is Effective

Often times, especially in the self help literature we are unsure of the actual effectiveness of an intervention. This is simple not the case when it comes to balance training. Their is a clear, scientifically tested increase in balance when we successfully perform balance exercises for a long period of time. Given all the points above, I think it is clear that elderly individuals should make training their balance a priority.

If these factors have motivated your to try out balance training I suggest you refer to our article on the Top 10 Balance Exercises for Seniors .


  • El Haber N, Erbas B, Hill KD, Wark JD. Relationship between age and measures of balance, strength and gait: linear and non-linear analyses. Clin Sci (Lond). 2008 Jun;114(12):719-27. doi: 10.1042/CS20070301. PMID: 18092948.
  • Değer TB, Saraç ZF, Savaş ES, Akçiçek SF. The Relationship of Balance Disorders with Falling, the Effect of Health Problems, and Social Life on Postural Balance in the Elderly Living in a District in Turkey. Geriatrics (Basel). 2019 May 17;4(2):37. doi: 10.3390/geriatrics4020037. PMID: 31108836; PMCID: PMC6630729.
  • Stevens JA, Olson S. Reducing falls and resulting hip fractures among older women. MMWR Recomm Rep. 2000 Mar 31;49(RR-2):3-12. PMID: 15580729.
  • Vaishya R, Vaish A. Falls in Older Adults are Serious. Indian J Orthop. 2020 Jan 24;54(1):69-74. doi: 10.1007/s43465-019-00037-x. PMID: 32257019; PMCID: PMC7093636.
  • Lesinski M, Hortobágyi T, Muehlbauer T, Gollhofer A, Granacher U. Effects of Balance Training on Balance Performance in Healthy Older Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Sports Med. 2015 Dec;45(12):1721-38. doi: 10.1007/s40279-015-0375-y. Erratum in: Sports Med. 2016 Mar;46(3):457. PMID: 26325622; PMCID: PMC4656699.
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    This resource was written by Sean Klein. Sean Richard Klein has thousands of hours of coaching experience and a BSc in Sports Science with Management from Loughborough University. He owns a gym in Bayonne France, CrossFit Essor, which runs group classes and a Personal training studio.

    Sean Klein


    Programme is a workout app that plans every workout for you

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