Frequently asked questions about the StandingTall program can be found below, click on the question to see the response. They are split into categories e.g. About StandingTall, General Exercise recommendations and Technical issues.
StandingTall is a home-based balance exercise program delivered through an application on your tablet or computer. StandingTall offers an individualised and evidence-based approach to fall prevention.
StandingTall was created by A/Prof Kim Delbaere and her research group at Neuroscience Research Australia. StandingTall is owned by Neuroscience Research Australia.
Balance training is beneficial for all ages, but especially as we get older. Balance exercises not only help to prevent falls but also improve your overall stability. It is a low-impact activity that involves slow, methodical movements and good body awareness. While some people may find it boring, balance exercises can be quite challenging (e.g. standing on one leg eyes closed). It is important to be aware that balance varies in every individual and gradually deteriorates as we age due to processes such as decreased strength and stamina, impaired vision, hearing and sensation. Balance exercises require good control of your core muscles. They also target your leg muscles as well as your gluteals. Your back muscles also provide support for good balance.
Research supports exercise, specifically balance exercise, as the most effective intervention to reduce falls. The exercises should include moderate to high challenge balance exercises performed for at least two hours a week over at least 6 months. This type of exercise program prevented up to 42% of falls. While two hours a week might sound like a lot, think of it as 20 minutes almost every day.
About the exercises in StandingTall
The StandingTall program requires some equipment (a step box and foam) to add variety to your sessions and progress your exercises as your balance improves. Please refer to ‘Where to buy equipment’ on the Resources page. You will also need about 3m² of space to do the grid exercises. To exercise safely, please make sure to also have suitable support (e.g. kitchen bench) to steady yourself if you need.
We strongly recommend as part of a safe set up for completing the StandingTall exercises, you should always have a chair or something else sturdy like a bench nearby or within arm's reach as a support. Some of the exercises also suggest being positioned besides a wall or near a benchtop or table as they are more dynamic (moving as opposed to standing in a static position). Make sure that your chair does not have wheels and that your choice of support is stable and always within reach. Remember that anything located on the floor is a potential tripping hazard. Be careful when stepping around and onto the foam and box.
The dosage of 2 hours of balance exercise is a recommendation based on the best current research evidence.
It is normal to feel unbalanced. Balance exercises, in order to improve balance need to be at a level where you feel unsteady. It should not feel so unsteady that you are constantly grabbing onto the chair, wall or putting your foot down. An exercise is too easy if you feel completely steady/still. In the StandingTall program you will rate how difficult you perceive the exercise to be and this will help tailor the exercises to your ability.
Yes. Another user can create a new profile in settings. Having separate profiles is important because the exercises are specifically tailored to each separate user’s ability. You need to be connected to the internet to switch users so that the data from the previous user is saved.
Yes. You may pause an exercise session for up to 30 minutes by tapping ‘Pause Exercise’ in the top left corner of the screen. If the session is not resumed within 30 minutes the session data will be lost and you will be returned to the main menu where you will need to start a new session.
If you are inactive during your session, the program will issue a timeout warning after 10 minutes and the session will expire if you remain inactive for a total 15 minutes. After this time, you will be returned to the main menu and have to start a new session.
In the event of a fall or injury while exercising, please contact your health care professional or in an emergency call 000. Additionally, if you are a participant in a research study, please get in touch with your local StandingTall contact or phone the StandingTall Helpline on (02) 9399 1083.
General exercise recommendations
The physical activity guidelines from Australian Department of Health advises that people over 65 should:
- Do some form of physical activity, no matter what their age, weight, health problems or abilities
- Be active every day in as many ways as possible, doing a range of physical activities that incorporate fitness, strength, balance and flexibility.
- Accumulate at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most, preferably all, days.
For older people who have stopped physical activity, or who are starting a new physical activity:
- Start at a level that is easily manageable and gradually build up the recommended amount, type and frequency of activity.
For older people who continue to enjoy a lifetime of vigorous physical activity:
- Carry on doing so in a manner suited to their capability into later life, provided recommended safety procedures and guidelines are adhered to.
There are other great community-based balance activities such as tai chi and yoga. Tai Chi has also been shown to prevent falls.
While StandingTall provides structured exercise targeting balance, it’s important to continue or make time for cardiovascular activity such as daily walking or aqua aerobics. Strength and resistance training are also important. You may already be doing some strength training through pump classes, personal training or by attending a gym. Alternatively, if you aren’t accustomed to exercise, it is always best to consult your doctor before starting, especially if you have a medical history including cardiac (e.g. high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation), endocrine (e.g. diabetes, thyroid conditions), respiratory (e.g. asthma, COPD) or neurological (e.g. Parkinson’s disease, peripheral arterial disease) conditions.
StandingTall is available on iPad (iOS 12 or higher) and using your web browser: https://standingtallapp.neura.edu.au (Internet Explorer 11, Chrome, Firefox and Microsoft Edge on Mac or Windows devices) System requirements for Android will be made available shortly.
StandingTall is available using your web browser: https://standingtallapp.neura.edu.au (Internet Explorer 11, Chrome, Firefox and Microsoft Edge on Mac or Windows devices). You will need about 3m2 space in front of the computer to be able to do the exercise program and something sturdy nearby in case you need to hang on to steady yourself. System requirements for Android will be made available shortly.
Unfortunately, StandingTall is only available on Apple devices that support iOS 12 or higher. If you are interested in purchasing an iPad, you can look for second-hand iPads on eBay for example or purchase refurbished iPads from Apple. If you would like to download StandingTall onto your iPad, please make sure the iPad can support iOS 12 or higher. Alternatively, you can use the web browser version: https://standingtallapp.neura.edu.au/ (Internet Explorer 11, Chrome, Firefox and Microsoft Edge on Mac or Windows devices).
If you are unable to open StandingTall or it stops working you may need to reinstall the program. On an iPad, hold down the icon until it starts to shake and a small ‘x’ appears on the icon. Press the ‘x’ and confirm that you wish to delete the app. Go to the App Store and re-download the app. Ensure you have a strong internet connection to do this. Once the program has been re-installed you will need to log back in to your StandingTall Profile using your username (email address) and password.
If the program crashes partway through an exercise session, shut down the app by double-clicking the home button on the iPad and swiping the app up off the screen. Re-open the app to start another exercise session. Data from that session will be lost but previous sessions exercise data should not be affected after logging back in.
The StandingTall app (iPad version) uses approximately 700Mb for the initial program download. If the StandingTall program is updated at any stage, these updates will require additional data, but the size of the update will determine the data usage for the update.
The automatic data transfer of your exercise minutes data to the Neuroscience Research Australia server will use approximately 50Mb per month. However, this is dependent on the number of sessions you complete each week.
Using your web browser, a 10 min session will use approximately 10Mb of data. Watching ‘How to’ videos will use approximately 4Mb of data each time.