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Stepping On

Produced by the Wisconsin Institute for Healthy Aging (2017)

Stepping On is a high-level, evidence-based program proven to reduce falls and build confidence in older people. A community-based, small-group workshop, Stepping On was developed in Australia and tested in a randomized trial where it demonstrated a 31% reduction in falls.


The Stepping On North America falls prevention program for older adults was developed by Dr. Lindy Clemson and co-authored by Ms. Megan Swann of the University of Sydney in Australia.  It was brought to the U.S. and adapted for U.S. audiences by Dr. Jane E. Mahoney of the University of Wisconsin, WIHA’s Executive Director.  By agreement with Dr. Clemson and Ms. Swann, WIHA has permission to use the Stepping On North America Leader Manual in its Leader Training programs to WIHA Licensees.  This Leader Manual, published by Freiberg Press Inc., and on which the license and this program is based, is the required manual of every Leader Training. Consistent with copyright law, Stepping On Licensees ensure that one Stepping On North America Leader Manual is purchased from Freiberg for each individual Workshop Leader and Master Trainer for the Stepping On program.  A CDC-approved Site Implementation Guide is also available to inform and assist anyone interested in the Stepping On program.

How Stepping On WorksFrom Focus on Health TV produced by the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System in New York.

From the National Council on Aging

Stepping On workshops

Stepping On is designed specifically for people who are: 1) at risk of falling, 2) have a fear of falling, or 3) who have fallen one or more times. Participants meet for two hours a week for seven weeks.  Workshops are facilitated by trained Leaders and provide a safe and positive learning experience.

It is the process in which the program is taught that makes it effective. Classes are highly participative; mutual support and success build participants’ confidence in their ability to manage their health behaviors, reduce their risk of falls, and maintain active and fulfilling lives.

Who should take the workshop?

Stepping On is for older adults who:

  • Live in their home or independent apartment
  • Are able to walk without the help of another person
  • Do not use a walker, scooter or wheelchair most of the time indoors
  • Are cognitively intact
  • Understand the language being used by the Stepping On Leader

Subjects covered include:

  • Simple and fun strength and balance exercises
  • The role vision plays in keeping your balance
  • How medications can contribute to falls
  • Ways to stay safe when out and about in your community
  • What to look for in safe footwear
  • How to check your home for safety hazards


  • Learn to step outside your home with confidence
  • Learn with people your own age
  • Become more aware of fall hazards and learn how your fall risk can be reduced
  • Study the most up-to-date information on falls prevention
  • Help others by sharing what has worked for you