Balance Exercises

Cawthorne Cooksey Exercises

(Adapted from Dix and Hood-1984 and Herdman-1994)

In bed or sitting

Eye movements -- at first slow, then quick

  • Up and down
  • From side to side
  • Focusing on finger moving from 3 feet to 1 foot away from face

Head movements at first slow, then quick, later with eyes closed

  • Bending forward and backward
  • Turning from side to side


  • Eye movements and head movements as above
  • Shoulder shrugging and circling
  • Bending forward and picking up objects from the ground


  • Eye, head and shoulder movements as before
  • Changing form sitting to standing position with eyes open and shut
  • Throwing a small ball from hand to hand (above eye level)
  • Throwing a ball from hand to hand under knee
  • Changing from sitting to standing and turning around in between

The earlier and more regularly the exercise regime is carried out, the faster and more complete will be the return to normal activity. Persistence will be rewarded. A friend or relative who also learns the exercises would be of great help.