Falls are a major health problem among the elderly, resulting in death and injury as well as negatively affecting quality of life. Most research on falls specific to the elderly has been conducted from a medical and public health perspective, and emphasized health status and other personal factors. Studies which examine the role of environmental and behavioural contributions to falls among the elderly suggest these factors also are important. However, the environment and behaviour research community has shown little interest in falls, except for a small body of stair safety studies. Existing research is examined as a basis for pursuing more situationally-oriented studies of falls in the elderly.