Strength and Balance Exercise Classes

Strength and Balance Exercise Classes

Strength and balance exercise to help with the prevention of falls.


To help participants with long term health conditions, who are referred by a health professional, to attend and safely participate in exercise sessions. These exercise sessions are specifically designed following Postural Stability Instructor (PSI) guidelines for the prevention of falls.

Sessions help improve participants’ balance, cardiovascular fitness, co-ordination and strength in order to increase confidence in moving, improving mobility and reducing the risk of falls. Exercise classes are delivered by our Physical Activity Referral Service (PARS


Levenshulme, Cheetham Hill & Wythenshawe

Benefits of exercise

Exercise is beneficial for both physical and mental health. In adults, exercise has a positive impact on numerous chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, whilst in older adults it has been shown to help prevent falls. Physical activity improves mental wellbeing across all ages, including for people with disabilities. Physical activity can also deliver cost savings to the health and care system by reducing preventable illness thus demand on services.


“My PARS journey has been very beneficial for my health and wellbeing. The classes are varied and not repetitive. I have found that my shoulder movement has improved, and the classes have also helped improve the flexibility of my hip and knee joints due to osteoporosis and arthritis. I would strongly recommend the PARS service to people, it’s been a success for me.”

“I was doing physio in the doctors and it wasn’t really having any effect, so I was sent to PARS. I believe this to be a better way to teach and help people to achieve results with exercise. I believe that PARS is and has been instrumental in getting me to do my exercises on a daily basis, and in helping me understand what exercises I am doing and why I am doing them. The exercise tutor has also taught me what to do if I find one exercise too much, and how to change it instead of just not doing it.”

“I thought the session was brilliant, it really tested my capabilities. I was especially struck with your observation that working at pace, doing several actions simultaneously, has multiple beneficial effects. I could not work at the full stretch or speed, but did what I could, sitting down for some of it.”

“l find the class very good and it certainly helps me. It stretches me but at 81 it should. I feel my balance has improved and I feel more confident in my mobility and movement.”


Exercise sessions are set up within local community areas across Manchester using facilities such as leisure centres, places of worship, lifestyle, community and public centres and parks. This makes them accessible to anyone and easily reached, even if participants only use public transport.

Sessions are often set up to meet demand within a local area. Whether that be in relation to a certain class type (condition specific), increasing the number of classes or to meet diversity and equality, such as ladies only sessions.

Because sessions are community based it allows our Physical Activity Referral Service team to have good links with leisure centres. Community classes create a valuable pathway for long term, more independent exercise.

Project Team

buzz Manchester Health & Wellb...

Manchester City Council



Arcadia Leisure Centre

Irish World Heritage Centre

Woodhouse Park Lifestyle Centr...

Strategic Links



Helping people live healthier lives

Healthy Lives, Healthy People (MH Government, 2010)

Fair Society, Healthy Lives (Institute of Health Equity, 2010)

The Manchester Locality Plan – A Healthier Manchester

Manchester Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Manchester Prevention Programme

Increased mental wellbeing

Manchester Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Greater Manchester Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Reducing avoidable illness/death

NHS Five Year Forward View (Department of Health, 2014).

The Manchester Locality Plan – A Healthier Manchester

Manchester Population Health Plan

Helping people age well

Taking Charge of our Health and Social Care in Greater Manchester (GMCA, 2015)

Manchester Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Manchester Population Health Plan

Evidence base

Department of Health and Social Care (2019) - UK Chief Medical Officers' Physical Activity Guidelines 2019

Public Health England (2016) - Health matters: getting every adult active every day

Public Health England (2018) - Physical activity for general health benefits in disabled adults:

Summary of a rapid evidence review for the UK Chief Medical Officers’ update of the

physical activity guidelines.

Sherrington C, Fairhall NJ, Wallbank GK, Tiedemann A, Michaleff ZA, Howard K, Clemson L, Hopewell S, Lamb SE. (2019) Exercise for preventing falls in older people living in the community. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD012424.

Sport England (2017) - Review of evidence of the outcomes for sport and physical activity: A

rapid evidence review.


Referral from a health professional is needed for someone to attend these classes. You can refer people here.

If you want any more information or have any questions please email or call 0161 271 0505 (option 1).

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Michelle, Cognitive Behavioural Therapist, Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust

Michelle, Cognitive Behavioural Therapist, Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust photo