Chair-based exercise routine created to help people stay active and healthy during lockdown

Thursday, 30 April 2020

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Academics at Oxford Brookes University have devised a chair-based exercise programme for anyone whose daily routine, health and wellbeing has been affected or disrupted by COVID-19.

The ten-minute programme is particularly appropriate for people with mobility problems, long-term health issues and those whose normal daily activities have been restricted by the lockdown.

Dr Andy Meaney, Head of the CLEAR Unit at Oxford Brookes University, said: “In order to maintain health during the lockdown, it’s important to stay as active as possible. Physical activity is vital for better physical and mental health and regular exercise will help you develop and maintain your fitness, strength, mobility and balance while living in isolation or lockdown.

“The exercises can be performed anywhere in the home or garden and parts of the programme can be repeated during the day. All you need is a stable chair. Most importantly, the programme allows you to stay safe, stay at home and keep moving - remember, movement is medicine.”

Physical activity is vital for better physical and mental health and regular exercise will help you develop and maintain your fitness, strength, mobility and balance while living in isolation or lockdown.

Dr Andy Meaney, Head of the CLEAR Unit, Oxford Brookes University

The chair-based exercise programme was devised during the first few days of the Covid-19 lockdown by researchers from the Centre for Movement, Occupational and Rehabilitation Sciences (MOReS) at Oxford Brookes University, with advice from Professor Patrick Doherty, University of York. The programme was supported by NIHR Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre and Oxford Health NHS Trust.

Originally designed for people with kidney and heart failure, the exercise programme was trialled by PhD student, Sheera Sutherland with patients in the Renal Dialysis Unit, Oxford University Hospitals.

A research team, led by Professor Helen Dawes and Dr Ziadao Xi from Oxford Brookes University, has also been invited by online training platform Suoguo Health based in Wuhan, China to set up a community training programme for the rehabilitation of coronavirus patients in the Hubei province.

This training programme is expected to launch over the coming months.

The video demonstrating the exercise programme, produced by video2web, can be viewed online at cleartrust.org.uk.