The sense of balance is needed to stay steady and safe while walking, climbing stairs, standing up, bending over and reaching out.
The inner ear, vision and other senses all contribute to the sense of balance. The muscles respond to the senses to keep the body steady.
Balance problems are more common among older adults. A weak sense of balance or difficulty maintaining balance can have many different causes. Some are easily treated, while others may be signs of more serious health problems.
Healthy habits that help with balance include:
Being physically active, especially with exercises that involve balancing or work muscles in the abdomen, lower back, legs, feet or ankles
Moving and stretching about every hour throughout the day
Standing up slowly after longer periods of sitting or lying down and then waiting a few seconds before moving
Asking health professionals about any foot pain or irritations
Wearing supportive shoes
Having thorough vision and physical examinations each year
Asking what side effects medicines might have
Getting the flu shot each year