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Welcome to the Strength and Balance Service

The Strength and Balance service provides individually tailored strength and balance retraining programmes called the Otago Exercise Programme (OEP). We run classes across Colchester, Clacton and Harwich which are aimed at people who are at risk of falls and are delivered by qualified Otago Exercise Programme leaders.

The programme consists of:

  • Pre-set seated and standing exercises with progression guidance
  • It can improve balance, muscle strength, general fitness and wellbeing
  • It includes motivational and support strategies to help you continue with the exercises at home for a period of 6-12 months, in addition to the original exercise classes
  • We work closely with voluntary organisations such as Community Voluntary Services Tendring and Colchester 360 throughout the programme to explore options for continuing social and physical activities beyond the strength and balance classes to maintain long-lasting benefits.
  • The classes are 60 minutes long, once a week, for a 12 week programme.
  • We are able to provide this programme to individuals within their home if they are unable to attend the classes.


Where is the service provided?

We hold the following weekly classes at a range of venues across north east Essex:

Current exercise classes

Harwich hospital

Friday 13.00 – 14.00

Clacton Leisure Centre

Wednesday 14.00 – 15.00

                  15.00 – 16.00

Colchester Leisure World

Tuesday     10.00 – 11.00

                 11.00 – 12.00

Wednesday 11.30-12.30


Clacton Leisure Centre
Vista Road
Clacton on Sea
CO15 6DB               Click to view map

Colchester Leisure World
Unit A1 Cowdray Avenue
CO1 1YH               Click to view map

Harwich Hospital
Main Road
CO12 4EX                   Click to view map




How to access the service

GP’s, health professionals, consultants and community agents are able to refer into the service following an appropriate medical/falls assessment.

There are some people that would not be suitable for Strength and Balance classes, if you have any of the following you would need to be cleared by the GP to ensure that the classes would be suitable:

  • Uncontrolled angina
  • Uncontrolled resting systolic blood pressure >180mmHg or resting diastolic blood pressure >100mmHg
  • Uncontrolled tachycardia >100bpm
  • Uncontrolled illness
  • Uncontrolled visual or vestibular disturbance
  • Uncontrolled pain
  • Significant drop in blood pressure during exercise >100bpm
  • Unstable or acute heart failure
  • Unable to maintain seated upright posture
  • Severe breathlessness
  • Unmanaged dizziness
  • Impaired cognition (to the extent of being unable to follow simple movement instructions)
  • Acute systemic illness
  • People who place themselves or others at risk – if this is the only criteria met, please contact team to discuss prior to sending referral.


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