Community 27.04.20

Supporting older people to stay active during lockdown

Thousands of older and vulnerable people in Sheffield are being supported to stay physically active during the coronavirus lockdown as part of a partnership project led by academics at Sheffield Hallam University.

The Active at Home booklet has been designed in partnership with Age UK, the Centre for Ageing Better, Sport England and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy to support older and vulnerable people to stay active and healthy at home.

It contains exercises and techniques that are relevant for older or less mobile people to do around the home including seated exercises as well as advice on keeping mentally active, managing lifestyle and contact details for local support organisations.

It is being delivered to thousands of older and vulnerable people across the city from Monday 27 April to support those isolating and unable to access the internet to remain physically active at home.

Dr Anna Lowe, Programme Manager for the National Centre of Sport and Exercise Medicine (NCSEM) Sheffield, based at the University’s Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC), is leading the project.

The AWRC, part of Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, is the most advanced research and development centre for physical activity in the world, dedicated to the health and wellbeing of the population through innovations that help people move.

Dr Lowe said: “‘Being active is essential for our mental and physical wellbeing, but it has become much harder to stay active since lockdown began.

“Whilst many excellent digital resources are available to support people to stay active and healthy at home, there is little for people who do not use the internet. Physical inactivity can have major implications for everyone, particularly those with health conditions and also older people whose mobility could be compromised.

“This booklet is designed to empower and support older and vulnerable people to take daily exercise as well as having a healthy routine to help keep them as physically and mentally strong as possible.”

Local GP and Public Health England Physical Activity Champion, Dr Andy Douglas, said: “There has never been a more important time to stay healthy, both physically and mentally. Keeping active at home is an enjoyable way to stay fit and relieve stress. In this booklet you can find lots of ideas on how you can get more active, starting today.”

The booklet is also available online on the Move More Sheffield website. The website is also being used to host a variety of other resources to support physical and mental wellbeing among the city’s residents during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Move More is a Sheffield-wide partnership with the aim of creating a culture of physical activity to improve the health, wellbeing and quality of life of everybody living in the city.

The project is part of the Sport England Join the Movement campaign designed to provide inspiration and information to the public about how to get active in and around the home during the coronavirus pandemic.

Download booklet here