Being afraid of falling can increase someone's risk of having a fall. People who are fearful of falling often feel less confident about their balance, regardless of their actual balance abilities. This can result in them being more cautious in unfamiliar places. Being overly cautious when walking in situations perceived as dangerous can actually make a person unsteady and increase the risk of falling .
Fear of falling can also stop people from doing daily activities that they enjoy such as walking, shopping or visiting a friend. This is called avoidance behavior. When fear of falling stops someone from doing their usual activities, it might also stop them from getting the exercise their joints and muscles need to stay agile. This can lead to a negative spiral in which restriction of daily activities causes balance to get worse, which further increases risk of falling. Fear of falling can also have an impact on someone's overall wellbeing, including low mood as well as reduced social and physical functioning.