A PHYSIOTHERAPIST has devised a special isolation home fitness programme using household items and furniture to combat injuries such as back pain brought on by the COVID-19 lockdown.
Neil Sleeman, owner of Platinum Physiotherapy and Personal Training, in Coxhoe, near Durham, and an experienced physiotherapist of 22 years, said he’d developed the programme after seeing evidence among his clients that lower back and neck pain, as well as reduced cardiovascular fitness.
He said: “Firstly, due to the restrictions in place to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, many people are working from home.
“This means their normal working environment has changed including sitting on inadequate chairs/settees and at tables which are at the incorrect height.
“Walking to and from either the office or transport options has also been greatly reduced, so the activity levels are immediately affected by this.
“Secondly, the restrictions in place regarding social isolation are affecting our normal exercise habits.
“Despite many taking the opportunity to exercise outside for up to an hour per day as advised, thousands are not and therefore their time being sedentary has increased.
“Activities like shopping and other regular daily activities are no longer taking place as often, so this also increases the risk of back pain and reduced fitness.”
Mr Sleeman said this is a unique opportunity to prevent back pain and increase fitness over the coming weeks and months.
He said: “Every single one of us is in a position where implementing simple strategies on a daily basis can make positive changes to our health for both the short and long term.
“As the coronavirus situation resolves our individual goals should be to fitter and stronger than ever, so that future medical problems such as back pain, heart disease and stroke are less likely.”
Mr Sleeman is recommending a simple “Home Strength Programme” that everyone can do regularly during the day and has seen great success over the past three weeks since the restrictions have been in place.
This is using household furniture/items that everyone has in their homes, and therefore accessible for all.
He said: “The following eight exercises can be easily modified for each person, and the aim is to do each for one minute in succession, three to six times daily at spread-out intervals (the number of times per day is dependent on current level of fitness).”
“The result of these “eight-minute circuits” is a sum total of thirty to sixty minutes in total, and in conjunction with the outside activity permitted it will prevent back pain and improve cardiovascular health on an ongoing basis.
The circuit aims to address: core muscle strength to assist the back and neck; upper and lower body strength; cardiovascular fitness and general mobility.
Exercise 1: Standing Mountain Climber against the wall - make sure your keep your arms straight and hips still, then lift your knee towards your chest using the core (stomach) muscles. Alternate legs making sure you only move the knee towards the chest.
Exercise 2: Sit to Stand to Sit from a medium height chair - do this with control using large muscle groups in your thigh and buttocks. Try not to use your hands but do so if safety is an issue.
Exercise 3: Standing Press-ups against the wall - make sure your hips do not swing forwards and backwards, thus enabling your core muscles to work to protect the spine.
Exercise 4: Single leg balance standing on one or two cushions while holding onto a table/wall (swap legs halfway).
Exercise 5: Standing bicep curls using “tins of beans” (or similar) - keep the elbows still and bring the tins towards your shoulders with control
Exercise 6: Calf raises holding a chair/wall - holding the back of the chair or wall, gently move up and down onto your toes with control ensuring you have control throughout
Exercise 7: Shoulder rotations - using the same tins as the bicep curls, rotate your arms outwards and inwards ensuring the elbows stay by your side
Exercise 8: Standing figure “8” - holding a bucket or container with small weights inside (such as books/tins), “draw” an imaginary series of figure 8’s to eye level then back down using your core (stomach) muscles
Platinum Physiotherapy is successfully running over forty classes weekly via Video Link to people worldwide to keep them moving in their own homes.
This includes Swiss Ball Classes for back pain prevention, and Circuit Based Classes for strength and fitness using household items.
To find out more visit: facebook.com/PlatinumPPT/