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16 Dec 2020

Innovative Strength and Wellness studios

Age-friendly exercising helps gain muscle strength, improved balance and greater independence

Since the opening at Selwyn Heights last year of our unique Strength and Wellness studio featuring the specialist HUR equipment for seniors’ exercising – which was the first of its kind in the country – demand for places has been strong from both village residents and, increasingly, from those living in the surrounding areas. Due to the popularity of the studio and the obvious health benefits for older adults, a second studio opened at Selwyn Village this year.

The studios are fitted with exercise equipment developed especially for use by older adults and which is designed to help improve people’s strength and overall wellbeing. Regular users are noticing positive differences in their physical ability and this, in turn, is leading to a reduced risk of falling, increased independence and more confidence in getting out and about.  

Despite two major lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw the studios having to close as a precautionary measure, one client has increased their ability to use the leg press this year by an additional 29kg – up from 60kg to 89kg. Another client recorded a 27% improvement in the repetitive ‘sit to stand’ evaluation. For the timed ‘up and go’ exercise, they also improved their performance by 13%. This particular individual had previously been assessed with a severe degenerative disease and had a frequent history of falling – including being hospitalised after a fall – but hasn’t fallen since joining the Strength and Wellness studio. Such results are testament to the enhancement in core strength that can be achieved through progressive resistance and balance training tailored to a user’s specific needs.

The world-leading HUR (Helsinki University Research) equipment uses technology that’s purposely designed for age-friendly exercising and allows people to exercise gently and safely at their own pace and ability, in order to gain muscle strength and improve balance. The ‘smart’ equipment identifies issues with the user’s gait and balance; this enables our onsite clinical exercise physiologist to address any areas of weakness through customised exercise plans designed for the person’s unique needs, making it ideal for strength training, medical fitness and rehabilitation.  


Supporting people to remain living well in their home environment for longer, thus preventing or delaying a transition to residential care, is a key goal of the Foundation’s community strategy. The studios at Selwyn Village and Selwyn Heights are therefore available to people aged 50-plus living independently in the community, subject to an individual assessment by our physiologist as to their suitability for the programme, and access is by appointment only.

For further information or to book an assessment, call our Health and Wellbeing team on 0800 30 1234 or contact us at selwynfoundation.org.nz/community