Class Spotlight: Living Falls Free


Tell Us What You Think


Contact Information

For specific questions about the class and its appropriateness for you or someone you know, contact Sue Peterson, (608) 263-7936 or 

email Sue

Did you know the risk of falling increases with each decade of life? According to the national Center for Disease Control (CDC), each year, one in every three adults ages 65 or older is treated in an emergency department for fall-related injuries.


Most of us are aware of the risk of falling and thankfully, falling is not an inevitable part of aging. In fact, many falls can be prevented. Everyone can take actions to protect the older adults they care about (and can start caring for themselves).


The UW Health Sports Medicine Fitness Center started the falls risk reduction class Living Falls Free in 2009. Since then, dozens of participants have benefited from its unique combination of falls education and exercise intervention.


About Living Falls Free

Living Falls Free is a practical falls risk reduction exercise class. The course content includes learning the exercises of the No Falls Program - a large research study in Australia demonstrating an effective reduction in falls risk when group based exercise was combined with vision checks and home hazard reduction. This program is offered as a group exercise class. It is appropriate for community dwellers with a moderate level of physical ability.


Included in class is speed change walking, rocker board challenges, strength work, as well as eye and vestibular exercises. Exercises are performed at standing, chair and floor level with a take home booklet to help clients incorporate balance specific work into their lifestyle.


Living Falls Free focuses on dynamic balance and stable positioning in both one and two foot stances. It is an excellent class for teaching clients what balance specific exercise is, and helps them perform it with good technique. Besides the take home exercise program, the class includes pre and post performance testing, which usually demonstrates the effectiveness of the exercises on improving balance ability.


Living Falls Free was designed and initially taught by Sue Peterson, MS. Along with Sue, Shirley Dumas also teaches current offerings of Living Falls Free as well.


Living Falls Free is offered during the fall and spring class seasons. Class sessions are 14 weeks in length. The next session of Living Falls Free will be starting September 8th and will meet on Mondays from 1:45–2:45pm.


We all know someone who can benefit by participating in Living Falls Free. We hope that you will thoughtfully pass the word about this program on and contribute positively to their safety and quality of life.