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Vertigo is a sensation that you or your surroundings are moving when there is no actual movement. You may feel as though you are spinning, whirling, falling, or tilting. Severe vertigo may cause you to feel nauseated and vomit. Vertigo and other types of dizziness can greatly increase the risk of losing your balance and falling. Vertigo occurs when there is conflict between the signals sent to the brain by various balance- and position-sensing systems of the body. Common causes of vertigo include:

  • Inner ear disorders, such as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), Ménière's disease, vestibular neuritis, or labyrinthitis.
  • Injury to the ear or head.
  • Migraine headaches, which are painful, debilitating headaches that often occur with vertigo, nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light, noise, and smell.
  • Decreased blood flow through the arteries that supply blood to the base of the brain (vertebrobasilar insufficiency).

Alcohol and many prescription and nonprescription medicines can cause lightheadedness or vertigo. These problems may develop from:

  • Taking too much of a medicine (overmedicating).
  • Alcohol and medicine interactions. This is a problem, especially for older adults who may take many medicines at the same time.
  • Misusing or abusing a medicine or alcohol.
  • Drug intoxication or the effects of withdrawal.

If vertigo is a persistent problem for you, consult with a physician or physical therapist that specializes in vestibular treatment. There are several exercises for vertigo that can help decrease vertigo and dizziness. suggests the following exercises to treat vertigo and improve balance, but be sure to consult with your physician before starting any exercise program:

Eye Exercises:
  • Look up, then down. First, slowly, and then, quickly.
  • Look from side to side. First, slowly, and then, quickly.
  • Focus on your finger at arm’s length. Move your finger from side to side, keeping your eyes focused on the finger.
Head Exercises:
  • Bend your head forward, and then backward with eyes open. First, slowly, and then, quickly.
  • Turn your head from side to side. First, slowly, and then, quickly.
  • As your dizziness improves, these head exercises can be done with your eyes closed.
  • In sitting, shrug your shoulders.
  • Turn your shoulders from side to side.
  • Bend forward and pick up objects from the ground. Then, sit up.
  • From sitting, stand up. Sit down again. Do this with eyes open.
  • Repeat with your eyes closed.
  • In standing, pass a small rubber ball from one hand to the other under one knee.
  • Walk across the room with your eyes open. Repeat this with your eyes closed.
  • Walk up and down a slope with your eyes open. Repeat this with your eyes closed.
  • Walk up and down stairs with your eyes open. Repeat this with your eyes closed.

(Exercises found at:

SIT AND BE FIT videos also provide appropriate exercise for those managing vertigo. Since the majority of each workout are done seated in a chair, our workouts should be safe for those managing dizziness and/or vertigo. Also, the exercises are generally done at a slow pace, which is especially important if you are prone to dizziness or vertigo. Especially with neck movements, we advocate slow movement with proper alignment. We strongly recommend consulting your doctor to see if they can refer you to a physical therapist who specializes in vestibular treatment.

Recommended SIT AND BE FIT exercises for Dizziness/Vertigo:

  • All-Sitting Workout:  DVD  VHS
  • Balance & Fall Prevention Workout:  DVD  VHS
  • Balance & Fall Prevention Beginning Level workout:  DVD  VHS



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