Programs including more than one category of exercise (balance training, strength training or walking) were effective in reducing both the rate and risk of falling; (with multiple-component group exercise, approximately 9 fewer falls per 100 participants annually). This was the case whether the exercises were delivered as group classes or individually prescribed for home.
Tai chi was the only single exercise intervention proven to reduce the risk of falling although it was not definitely proven to reduce the falls rate. There was no evidence that any other single category of exercise, balance, retraining, muscle-strengthening or walking was effective on its own.
Meta-regression analyses suggest that exercises are more effective at preventing falls if they provide a moderate or high challenge to balance and are delivered at higher rather than lower ‘doses’.
It is recommended that exercises challenge balance in the following these three ways and for at least 2 hours a week.