Glasgow's Active Wards initiative embraces Strength and Balance

Hospitals in Scotland's largest health board are set to display our strength and balance wall stickers to help keep patients active.

Our Strength and Balance wall stickers

Wards in eight sites across NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde will host a set of graphics which act as a visual aid to encourage patients to get out of bed, move more and build muscle strength while in hospital.

The news comes after a successful trial of the stickers within a post-surgery ward at the Royal Alexander Hospital in Paisley earlier this year. Read more about this here.

Now, our Strength and Balance stickers will be part of Glasgow's Active Wards programme, a pathway of physical activity interventions supporting patients to be active before, during and after treatment.

Dr Juliet Harvey, practice development physiotherapist who leads on Active Wards said

Having piloted the Strength and Balance wall stickers in two wards with positive results from both patients and staff perspectives, we are now at a stage of expanding the programme across Greater Glasgow and Clyde. 

Thanks to a generous donation from Paths for All, we are able to include 10 wards in this cycle of change including older people's services, surgical and stroke wards.

Thanks to a partnership between NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Paths for All, the simple Strength and Balance signage will be used by a range of health practitioners as part of the Active Wards programme.

The combination of sitting less, moving more, gaining muscle strength and better balance aims to help patients to get fit for theatre and combat deconditioning which can occur during long hospital stays. 

In older patients, poor muscle Strength and Balance are the most common risk factors for falls which can lead to injuries like hip fractures, longer hospital stays or social care intervention. 

Performing simple exercises can significantly reduce these risks and help patients keep their mobility and independence. 

Juliet leads the Active Wards Special Interest Group representing physiotherapists and occupational therapist from a range of clinical areas to share experience and best practice when it comes to supporting patients to be physically active. 

She added: "We integrate many Paths for All resources in our Active Wards toolbox, which allows staff to tailor interventions to meet the need of their patient group."

By donating sticker sets to support Active Wards, Paths for All will gain a valuable insight into how health professionals can successfully integrate physical activity into care, which we can share with others.

The eight Glasgow sites involved include wards and services within Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, New Victoria Hospital, Gartnavel General Hospital, Vale of Leven Hospital, Inverclyde Royal Hospital, Royal Alexandra Hospital and The Beaston. 

Our simple illustrations, which can be used as indoor wall stickers or outdoors as display panels, show how to perform eight gentle exercises that can improve muscle strength, balance and coordination.

The dementia-friendly design means the graphics can be used by health and social care staff to promote supported and self-led Strength and Balance activity in a range of settings such as care homes, hospital wards, day centres or public spaces.

For more information about our Strength and Balance programme, visit

Order the wall stickers or any of our Strength and Balance resources here.