Safe Falling Principles & Prevention

Falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of non-fatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults. But falling is not the inevitable result of aging. Awareness and lifestyle adjustment can help prevent falls or lessen the number of falls. And learning how to fall safely will reduce the potential for significant injury.

Practice fall prevention with the ABC method:

Awareness: When you walk, focus on walking. Lifting your feet, looking where you are going and walking heel to toe will help keep you safe.

Balance: Exercise regularly to help develop strength and flexibility. Practice standing on one foot for 20 to 30 seconds to help develop your balance. In addition, tai chi, dancing and yoga are some of the activities that can help keep you balanced by enhancing your mind-body connection.

Control: Take control of your environment. Use handrails whenever possible. Install grab bars in your bathroom.

Using these safe falling principles can help reduce the severity of injury from falls.

When you feel like you’re about to fall forward, here are important points to remember:

  • Protect your head. Tuck your chin into your chest and place one hand across the centerline of your body so that your head hits your hand rather than the ground. Rather than brace for a fall, relax your hands.
  • Get low. Take a step forward and lower yourself as much as possible. Reach forward with one hand slightly ahead of the other. Extend both arms forward in a sliding motion. Relax into the motion. As you fall forward, begin turning your body so that you fall on soft tissue — first your calf, then your thigh, then turn onto your back, and finally, your lower back.
  • Do not get up immediately. If you feel dizzy, hurt or strange, don’t get up and ask for medical assistance. If you feel ok, ask for help getting up.

The practice of falling properly and safely must be conducted within a safe environment only. For more information on how to fall safely, contact Kupuna Aikido for presentations, instructions and class schedules. Visit the Kupuna Aikido website for more prevention and safety tips.

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– Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii, Honolulu
– Higashi Hongwanji, Honolulu
– Mililani District Park, Mililani
– Ahuimanu, Kaneohe


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