The Secret To Improving Your Balance, Written By Exercise Physiologist Matthew Crear

The Secret to Improving your balance

The Secret To Improving Your Balance, Written By Exercise Physiologist Matthew Crear

The importance of improving or maintaining an individual’s functional abilities is essential to achieving a greater quality of life. Functional abilities, refer to the ability of an individual to have the physiological capacity to carry out activities of daily living safely and without undue fatigue (1). A primary contributor to maintaining quality of life is balanced ability or limiting the risk of falls, both of which have been found to be directly influenced by one’s strength and stability (2).

Having adequate balance doesn’t solely refer to being able to stand on one leg or step over obstacles unbothered. But relates to functional activities such as navigating through the garden, managing stairs or inclines and in the instance where balance is lost, being able to gather it without falling or causing harm.

Once the age of 50 is reached, it is estimated that each subsequent year results in 1.4-2.5% decrease in lean muscle mass. And at 65 years of age this significantly increases with research reporting one-third of the population experiencing a fall annually. Of that one third, as many as 35% sustain a serious injury (3, 4). Aside from causing poor balance and increased risk of falls, loss of strength and stability is also associated with slow walking speed, poor endurance while completing tasks, inability to rise from a chair and frailty (5).

It has been identified that individuals that participate in regular exercise interventions significantly decrease their risk of falls and causes harm to themselves. Different forms of exercise that have been found to be beneficial are (6, 7):

  • Walking
  • Group-based strength classes
  • Pilates

As exercise physiologists, we play a vital role in providing you with exercise which suits you or finding suitable classes for you to join We account for your individual conditions and abilities, access to equipment and the goals you are trying to achieve. Completing regular supervised exercise is the simplest way to improve whole body strength, functional ability, and deter falls.

There is a surplus of benefits associated with all types of physical activity, which have proven benefits for all ages and abilities. Luckily, it’s never too late to kick off your journey to better health and begin participating in regular exercise

At Sports & Spinal we offer a 1 on 1 consultation with an Exercise Physiologist and a range of exercises classes!

Core, Strength & Mobility Classes (Studio & Mat Clinical Pilates)

With an emphasis on core conditioning, breathing and body awareness, our CSM classes are a safe and highly effective way to stretch, strengthen and streamline your body without building bulk or stressing your joints.

CSM classes utilise a variety of exercises that incorporate balance, power, strength and stability. The classes are inspired by Clinical Pilates movements and equipment, utilising levers and resistance to promote correct muscular activation patterns, postural awareness and core strength.

Blooming Bellies & Active Mums

Blooming Bellies to Active Mums are two classes designed for your specific needs during the antenatal and postnatal period. The changes your body undergoes during the childbearing years require specific, targeted exercises by trained professionals to ensure that you safely remain strong and active.


Hydrotherapy is a specific therapist supervised treatment and exercise program in a heated pool (32°C). Hydrotherapy is often used to improve strength and flexibility before beginning a gym or home-based program. It is suitable for all ages and fitness levels. Being at a constant safe depth it is not necessary to be a competent swimmer in order to benefit.

The New You

Incredible personalised health and wellness classes developed by the expertise of the Sports & Spinal Exercise Physiologist and Dietitian team.

These classes are all about taking small steps to create big, lasting lifestyle changes for THE NEW YOU!

Our Exercise Physiologists are trained in wellness coaching to help you lose weight, stay motivated with your rehab classes and self manage your condition with expert guidance.

Move 4 Life

The Sports and Spinal team are highly skilled in developing exercise programs to suit everyone individual needs as we age, particularly in relation to people who have conditions which limit them physically and affect their quality of life e.g. arthritis, stroke, a fracture, osteoporosis or heart disease.

Interested in doing classes?

All patients are required to have an initial assessment with a Physiotherapist or Exercise Physiologist before beginning any of our classes. This is to familiarise patients with any equipment, positions, exercises and identify and injuries/restrictions we need to be aware of prior to attending a class.

Contact your local Sports and Spinal location to arrange a consultation. After this assessment, your first two weeks of classes is FREE!

More about Matthew Crear

Matt graduated with a Bachelor of Exercise Physiology (Clinical) from James Cook University (Townsville) in 2016. Following two years working in a private clinic Hervey Bay, Matt has developed an eagerness to aid in the management and treatment of musculoskeletal injuries and chronic illness. Matt is passionate about ensuring that every patient he sees is provided with education regarding their specific condition to assure a greater quality of life. Matt has developed a special interest in the management of return to sport, pre and post-operative rehabilitation, chronic pain, osteoporosis and chronic disease management. In his spare time, Matt enjoys competitively playing hockey and touch football and fills in his spare time riding his mountain bike and playing golf.

Matthew is available for Exercise Physiology consultations at our Chermside clinic



  1. Samuel, S. E., Shaji, E. P., & Suresh, B. V. (2018). Correlation between Balance and Functional Ability in Elderly: A Pilot Study. Indian Journal of Physiotherapy & Occupational Therapy, 12(1), 47–51.
  2. In-Hee, L., & Sang-Young, P., (2013). Balance Improvement by Strength Training for the Elderly. Journal of Physical Therapy Science, 25(12), 1591-1593.
  3. KARINKANTA, S., KANNUS, P., UUSI-RASI, K., HEINONEN, A., & SIEVÄNEN, H. (2015). Combined resistance and balance-jumping exercise reduces older women’s injurious falls and fractures: 5-year follow-up study. Age & Ageing44(5), 784–789.
  4. Macaluso A, De Vito G: Muscle strength, power and adaptations to resistance training in older people. Eur J Appl Physiol, 2004, 91: 450–472.
  5. Mangione, K. K., Miller, A. H., & Naughton, I. V. (2010). Cochrane Review: Improving Physical Function and Performance With Progressive Resistance Strength Training in Older Adults. Physical Therapy90(12), 1711–1715.
  6. Cameron ID, et al. Interventions for preventing falls in older people in care facilities and hospitals. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Dec 12;12:CD005465.
  7. Gillespie LD, et al. Interventions for preventing falls in older people living in the community. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Sep 12;9:CD007146.