Step by Step

Helping to help reduce falls and fractures for people aged 55 plus.

What is it?

ActivLives is working in partnership with the Ipswich & East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group to deliver the Step by Step Programme in Ipswich and East Suffolk, to help reduce falls and fractures for people aged 55 plus.

Evidence has proven that by regularly taking part in OTAGO based falls prevention exercise, this can help maintain strength, balance, coordination and flexibility to help people to do everyday tasks and continue to do the things that they enjoy doing.

How can it help me?

The exercise programme is designed to keep people mobile, active and independent. It can help make it easier getting in and out of a chair, staying steady on your feet, improving your confidence and reducing the risk of falling when you are out and about.

The sessions also help you to meet and make new friendships and develop support networks out in the community. All activities provide the opportunity to chat with others over a coffee and to find out what other activities are available locally and through ActivLives.

How long is the session?

 Each session will provide 45 – 60 minutes of exercise and 15 – 30 minutes of social time and delivered over 48 weeks of the year, offering each member 48 weeks of exercise. Sessions cost £5.00 including refreshments.

The session will include a seated warm-up, specific OTAGO exercises to prevent falls and fractures and a seated cool-down.

What do I need to do to attend a session?

You can contact us yourself on 01473 345350 or be referred by your GP, Physiotherapist, Consultant, Social Prescriber or any health / care professional.

When we receive the referral a member of the Step by Step team will contact you to discuss your health issues and to ensure your GP has agreed that you should be undertaking this type of exercise. We will send you some paperwork to complete and on return of this, we will arrange for you to attend your nearest Better Balance session and introduce you to the qualified instructor and the group. We will explain everything you need to know, what to wear and our current safety measures before you attend.

All our instructors are qualified in OTAGO and seated exercise and the groups are very friendly and welcoming, as we fully understand that joining a new group can be quite daunting for some people.

Through the COVID-19 lockdowns we have been running live streaming sessions on zoom to enable people to keep exercising, while they are isolating at home.

Where are the Better Balance Sessions Held?

We currently have a number of Better Balance sessions meeting in Ipswich, Woodbridge, Felixstowe, Waldringfield and Leiston, but we are looking to develop new sessions where there is a local need.

Free introductory sessions are available and arranged by the Step by Step Development Officer.

If you would like more information, please contact us at the main office on 01473 345350.

“About a year ago I was seeing my physio at my GP’s surgery when they referred me to the Social Prescriber who works for the Shaw Trust at the surgery. She then rang me up and explained about an exercise balance group in Woodbridge that would be helpful for me attend as I was, and still am, waiting for a knee replacement.

She rang me up and explained about the group and I was offered 4 free sessions to start with, which was really helpful and I booked to start in December 2019 and have been going ever since. On my first session everyone was really friendly and helpful and the instructor really makes the sessions enjoyable as well. I thought the exercises really helped with my legs and with the arthritis in my knee and in my wrists and it continues to do so. It has made a difference to me as I can now stand for much longer and I am steadier on my feet. I enjoy the sessions to see other members and have a chat, we also have a laugh about things as well.

I feel really relaxed at the sessions and the class is paced to my ability as well. I definitely recommend other people to try the classes, it really helps and it’s great fun.”

Mrs K's story, aged 77

Better Balance Vox Pops –

We spoke to some of our Better Balance Session attendees to find out how coming aling to Better Balance has helped them to improve thier fitness, balance and overall wellbeng.

Watch a clip from the SOSA Dance Fitness Sessions on YouTube

Falls Prevention Booklet

We’ve created a handy Falls Prevention Booklet for you to look through and get some tips on how to prevent slips and trips in your home.

It includes infomation on how to make your home safer, what to do if you have a fall in your home and also some simple exercises to keep your body more mobile and steady on your feet.

Simply click the image opposite to open the booklet and enlarge on your screen.


ActivLives is a local charity, which relies on grants, trusts, donations, fundraising activities, sponsorship & commissions to enable us to provide & develop our services across Ipswich & Suffolk.