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Over 220,000 people 60+ break bones due to falls

Published on 18 June 2012 11:30 PM

Over 220,000 people aged 60+ break bones due to a fall

Age UK has today revealed the scale of the issue of falls, with over 220,000 people aged 60+ fracturing bones as the result of a fall.(i) The figures, announced as part of Age UK's Falls Awareness Week 2012 (18-22 June), show that more than 88,000 people fractured a hip, over 43,000 had fractures of the arm and nearly 17,000 fractured their pelvis.(ii) These are significant injuries and the impact of a fall and the resulting injuries can be life-changing, leaving many feeling isolated, anxious and reluctant to leave home.

Injuries from falls are one of the leading causes of death for over 75s,(iii) but falls aren't an inevitable part of getting older - specific programmes for improving strength and balance can reduce the risk of falls by as much as 55 per cent (iv)  and weight-bearing exercise in particular is important in maintaining healthy bones.

Age UK's Falls Awareness Week (18-22 June) urges older people to take part in a range of local activities, including exercise sessions and information and advice roadshows to learn how to look after bone health all year round. The Week will highlight the importance of exercise alongside a balanced diet rich in calcium and getting enough Vitamin D through sunshine to build and maintain healthy bones, helping to prevent falls and fractures as we grow older.

Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director General at Age UK, said: "The impact of a fall can be devastating and the scale of the issue is a real concern, especially as we know that prevention is so much better than cure. Age UK's Falls Awareness Week highlights this important issue and provides a host of local community events so that older people can find out about helping to prevent falls and keep bones strong and healthy.

"We're encouraging people to go to an event to find out how to introduce simple strength and balance exercises into day-to-day life to help prevent falls. The events will also look at the importance of getting out in the sunshine and incorporating calcium and sources of vitamin D in your diet. This all helps to strengthen bones to protect you if you do fall."

Len Goodman, professional ballroom dancer and coach and TV presenter, is supporting the Week and urges people to maintain a healthy lifestyle. He said: "I would encourage everyone to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Dancing has really helped me to maintain my fitness levels throughout my life and it really does make a difference, literally keeping me on my toes! It makes me feel good and it gives me more energy. I'm supporting Age UK's call for everyone to boost their bones for Falls Awareness Week to help enjoy life to the full whilst staying as healthy as we can."

Martin MacDonald, nutritionist to celebrities such as Jennifer Ellison and for the Olympic Weightlifting and Paralympic Powerlifting teams, is supporting Age UK's Falls Awareness Week. He said: "Proper nutrition and exercise together are fundamental in maintaining bone health. Protein and vitamin D interact with calcium to affect bones, so we should make sure that our intakes of all these nutrients are adequate as well as taking regular physical activity to keep bones as healthy as possible."

During the Week, Age UK will be working with falls prevention services, hospitals and other charities, including local Age UKs, to host events and activities for people in later life. The Week is promoting activities and projects that help to prevent falls in later life - from finding out how to do strength and balance exercises at an organised session or from the comfort of an armchair, to letting people know how important it is to get out in the sunshine and getting information on diet.

To download Age UK's free ‘Staying Steady' and ‘Healthy Eating' guides and to find out more about local events during Falls Awareness Week (18-22 June 2012) visit or call Age UK Advice for free on 0800 169 6565.


For any Falls Awareness Week media enquiries please call Sarah Scott at Age UK on 020 3033 1434 or email

i. Based on NHS figures for the number of fractures caused by falls of people aged 60+ in England in the latest available year (2010)
ii. Based on NHS figures for the number of fractures caused by falls of people aged 60+ in England in the latest available year (2010)

iii. NHS Choices website, Falls (overview), 2011 opens link in new window text
iv. Specific programmes for strength and balance have been shown to reduce the risk of falls by as much as 60 per cent, Skelton, 2001

Notes to editors

Age UK
For media enquiries relating to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland please contact the appropriate national office: Age Scotland on 0131 668 8055, Age Cymru on 029 2043 1562 and Age NI on 028 9024 5729.

Age UK is the new force combining Age Concern and Help the Aged, dedicated to improving later life.

We provide free information, advice and support to over six million people; commercial products and services to well over one million customers; and research and campaign on the issues that matter to people in later life. Our work focuses on five key areas: money matters, health and well being, home and care, work and training and leisure and lifestyle. We work with our national partners, Age Scotland, Age Cymru and Age NI (together the Age UK Family), our local Age UK partners in England and local Age Concerns. We also work internationally for people in later life as a member of the DEC and with our sister charity Help Age International.

Age UK is a charitable company limited by guarantee and registered in England (registered charity number 1128267 and company number 6825798). Age Concern England and Help the Aged (both registered charities), and their trading and other associated companies merged on the 1st April 2009. Together they have formed the Age UK Group ("we").  Charitable services are offered through Age UK and commercial products are offered by the Charity's trading companies, which donate their net profits to Age UK (the Charity).

Martin MacDonald is one of the UKs leading applied nutritional scientists who both lectures, in Applied Nutrition, as well as working with a wide range of private clients through his consultancy Martin specialises in nutrition for optimal body composition and also sports performance; this has led to Martin being the nutritionist to celebrities such as Hannah Waterman, Clare Nasir and most recently Jennifer Ellison in their amazing body transformations. As well as this, Martin is also the lead performance nutritionist at Derby County Football Club and for Olympic Weightlifting and Paralympic Powerlifting. Martin has become known for his myth busting of common nutrition dogmas which makes listening to him speak all the more interesting.

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Last updated: Oct 06 2017

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