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Falls Prevention Team encourages Islanders to move more while at home
04 December 2020

The IOW NHS Trust’s Falls Prevention team are encouraging people to move a little more while at home to keep physically active during the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions and the cold winter months.

Moving and keeping physically active is an extremely important way of preventing a deterioration to the health of a person of any age.  For an older person this will also help to maintain independence and even prevent falls.

Caroline Robertson, Falls Prevention Co-ordinator said: “The COVID-19 pandemic and particularly the lockdowns have meant that many people in our community have not been able to keep as physically active as they were previously which is a completely understandable response to an unprecedented situation.  

“The older population however, are particularly vulnerable to the effects of being less active.  When older people move less, they can quite quickly become weaker, less flexible and more unsteady on their feet, which could make them feel more apprehensive or under-confident about moving around or leaving the house.

“Signs that an older person is losing strength may include finding it is harder to get out of a chair than before, taking longer to get going in the morning or that it’s harder to get up and down the stairs”

There is a wealth of resources that are available to people help keep active during coronavirus restrictions.

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy recommends 6 exercises that can be used to maintain strength and flexibility but the important message is that anything is better than nothing. 

Simple measures include:

  1. Limit the amount of time spent sitting.  Put an egg timer by your chair or use a mobile phone to remind you to stand up every 20 to30 minutes.  This will stop you stiffening up,
  2. regulate your body temperature to help ease any joint pain.
  3. Household tasks such as dusting, hovering, washing up, cleaning windows all count as physical activity. 
  4. Gardening can be a great boost to your morale – weeding and potting up plants all count towards being physically active.

Physical activity at any age is an extremely important part of looking after our physical and mental health.  Keeping physically active can reduce our risk of obesity, developing long term health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease and it also releases “happy” hormones which can lift our mood and sense of wellbeing.

When embarking on any new exercise it is essential that you work at a level that you are comfortable with.  If you are uncertain about whether the exercise is right for you, please speak to your GP or health care professional who will be able to advise.

 

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