The Activities-Specific Balance Confidence (ABC) Scale

  • Posted on Sep 23, 2021

 As many of you already know, your risk of falling each year after age 65 is about one in three. Falls are the leading cause of injury and injury-related death among older adults. However many falls and fall-related injuries are preventable.

The below Activities-Specific Balance Confidence questions will help you decipher your level of confidence and risk of falling.

For each of the following activities, please indicate your level of confidence in doing the activity without losing your balance or becoming unsteady from choosing one of the percentage points on the scale from 0% to 100%. If you do not currently do the activity in question, try to imagine how confident you would be if you had to do the activity. If you normally use a walking aid to do the activity or hold onto someone, rate your confidence as if you were using these supports.

0%       10        20        30        40        50        60        70        80        90        100%

No Confidence                                                                        Completely Confident

How confident are you that you will not lose your balance or become unsteady when you…

  1. …walk around the house?__ %
  2. …walk up or downstairs?__ %
  3. …bend over and pick up a slipper from the front of a closet floor?__ %
  4. …reach for a small can off a shelf at eye level? __%
  5. …stand on your tiptoes and reach for something above your head?__ %
  6. …stand on a chair and reach for something?__ %
  7. …sweep the floor? __%
  8. …walk outside the house to a car parked in the driveway?__ %
  9. …get into or out of a car?__ %
  10. …walk across a parking lot to the mall?__ %
  11. …walk up or down a ramp?__ %
  12. …walk in a crowded mall where people rapidly walk past you?__ %
  13. …are bumped into by people as you walk through the mall? __%
  14. …step onto or off of an escalator while you are holding onto a railing?__ %
  15. …step onto or off an escalator while holding onto parcels such that you cannot hold onto the railing? __%
  16. …walk outside on icy sidewalks?__ %

Total ABC Score:                    Scoring:      / 16 = _________% of self confidence


Ask your doctor for a referral for physical or occupational therapy to assist you with fall prevention strategies. Our Rehab team is available to help you to decrease your risk of falling.




Source: Powell LE & Myers AM. The Activities-specific Balance Confidence (ABC) Scale. Journal of Gerontology Med Sci 1995; 50 (1):M28-34.