A new booklet, co-funded and developed by Sport England and Public Health England (PHE), has just been launched! It aims to help older adults keep up their activity levels while isolating due to coronavirus (Covid-19).
This is part of the Sport England Join the Movement campaign designed to provide inspiration and trusted information to the public about how to get active in and around the home during the coronavirus pandemic.
Being active is good for our physical and mental wellbeing. This is why we should all try to move regularly, including exercises to help stay strong and steady. This particularly applies to those of us who have health conditions or are older. Due to coronavirus we are all spending more time within our home, so it is important that we find ways to build activity into our day, every day.
Over the next few weeks, you may have health and social care appointments cancelled or delayed. If you are waiting for treatment, being active is one of the best things you can do to look after your health, as part of a healthy lifestyle. Being active at a level that feels comfortable is unlikely to make your health worse; in fact it can help to manage many health conditions.
Most of us are spending much more time within our home. This can be frustrating and upsetting, and it can be harder to be active when you can’t do your normal daily activities. This guide will help you to find ways to build activity into your day. If the exercise suggested doesn’t work for you, feel free to adapt them based on what you can do.
There’s some fantastic, simple strengthening and balance exercises.
As well as lot’s of general health and wellbeing advice.
No one in the entire World that has been untouched by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in some way. Throughout this time, the safety and well-being of all or customers and the goPhysio team is our utmost priority and will always continue to be at the core of all our decisions.
We have missed being able to offer you the support and care that we know you value, and we are very pleased to be able to re-open our doors and are looking forward to welcoming you into the clinic again from Tuesday 26th May, albeit with lot’s of changes and additional measures in place. Initially, we will only be offering physiotherapy appointments.
Being a healthcare environment, that inherently involves very close contact, there are obviously lot’s of things we have to address and consider.
Following the latest guidance, wherever possible, we will continue to offer virtual online appointments as a preferred alternative to face to face. Any patients making a booking will have to be assessed online first to identify which path of care is most appropriate for you. As it currently stands, lockdown restrictions have been eased and NOT lifted and therefore, we must continue to respect and follow guidance appropriately.
Our priority is to keep you as safe as possible, and in order to re-open the clinic for face to face services, we have implemented a number of changes which we would like to make you aware of.
These measures have been put in place following an extensive risk assessment and will be revised and amended as necessary. To help ensure we can run and maintain a safe environment for all, it is essential that you carefully read the steps we have taken and agree to comply with the measures we ask visitors to our clinic to take.
The steps we’ve taken to create a COVID Secure Clinic
Online Virtual Assessment
Prior to booking any face to face consultations, we have to conduct an online assessment to identify which path of care is most appropriate for you. We must assess whether you have significant pain or an urgent clinical need that justifies attending for a face to face consultation, in line with the latest professional guidance.
During this assessment we will diagnose your condition or injury, through a series of questions and tests, advise on the most appropriate advice and care and prescribe a personalised exercise programme, which we will then email you.
Following the latest guidance, wherever possible, we will continue to offer virtual online appointments as a preferred alternative to face to face.
Should it be agreed face to face care is the preferred route, we will ensure that you understand:
The potential nature of close patient contact during our services
The level of PPE that a clinician will be required to wear
The infection prevention and control measures that must be taken
You will be read a ‘Risks statement’ which we will confirm you understand and agree to.
Given the guidance on shielding, those classified as ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ will be discouraged from face to face appointments during the period of shielding.
As part of the assessment, we will ask you a series of screening questions in relation to COVID-19.
If you are attending for a face to face appointment, we will send you an online screening form which it is essential for you to complete online before your appointment.
We may ask to take your temperature on entry to the clinic as part of our screening.
All correspondence, invoices, exercises and receipts will be sent via email, so please ensure we have your correct email address and monitor your spam folder. We are unable to provide any paper documents, receipts or information.
You will find physical reminders of social distancing throughout the clinic, including a Perspex reception barrier, floor markings, posters and display screen messages.
All magazines, printed material and soft furnishings (including pillows and towels) have been removed.
We would ask that if you would like a pillow or towel during treatment, to please bring your own.
We will be minimising the use of equipment wherever possible.
The water dispensers will be out of use.
The WCs will be out of use for visitors.
Based on the size and layout of the clinic premises, we will be limiting the number of Clinicians working at any one time to facilitate social distancing.
Appointments will be staggered to facilitate social distancing.
We would request that if at all possible, you do not bring anyone with you to your appointment. If it is your preference to bring someone with you, they will have to accompany you into the clinic room (they will not be able to wait in the waiting area) and will also be asked COVID-19 screening questions and to record their contact details should we require them in the future as part of track and trace.
Children under 16 will need to be accompanied by a parent/guardian (in line with our Child Protection Policy), who will also need to answer COVID-19 screening questions.
Please do not arrive early for your appointment to minimise the risk of contact with other patients. We ask that if you come by car, please wait in your car in the car park until your booked appointment time. At your appointment time, please wait at the front door of the clinic and your Clinician will greet you at your appointment time.
Whilst in the clinic, please observe social distancing, by keeping at least 2m from anyone (unless receiving clinical treatment).
Booking and payments
To reduce face to face contact with non-clinical staff, you will be asked to make any follow up appointments with your Clinician whilst still in the clinic room or online. No bookings will be made at reception.
After your appointment, you will be sent an email with a link to make payment securely online. (Prompt payment would be much appreciated, don’t forget to check you spam folder if you don’t see the email).
We will be unable to accept cash payments.
We have put in place enhanced cleaning measures for all communal and clinical areas. The clinic rooms will be cleaned thoroughly in between every patient, and additional time has been scheduled to allow for this.
All communal and high contact areas will be cleaned frequently.
We have replaced all fabric chairs with wipeable seating and removed any soft furnishings and accessories, such as pillows and towels.
We will ask all patients visiting the clinic to wear their own face covering. If possible, please wear your own face covering to the clinic. If you don’t have one, we will provide you with one at a cost of £2, which will be added to your appointment invoice.
Our Clinicians will be wearing appropriate PPE in line with the latest guidance.
Please do not wear your own gloves into the clinic, as this poses a potential risk.
Please use hand sanitiser when you enter the clinic.
Please refrain from touching anything whilst you are in the clinic.
Our team understand the importance of hand hygiene and will ensure that they wash their hands in according with COVID Secure guidelines before and after any ‘hands on’ interaction.
We have carried out a risk assessment on all the services that we offer and we are confident that we can continue to provide these safely. We will be offering selected, essential services initially and will review what we offer on an ongoing basis subject to Government recommendations.
We aim to make any interactions as safe, comfortable and valuable as possible. If you have any concerns about the services please let us know and we will do what we can to satisfy you. If you have any preferences regarding social distancing and ‘hands on’ treatments please advise your Clinician so that these can be respected.
Thank you for your understanding
The goPhysio Team
Here is the professional guidance we are following from The Chartered Society of physiotherapists to facilitate our rationale as to whether to offer face to face appointments.
We have been eagerly anticipating news this week from the Government and our Clinical professional bodies in relation to the easing of lockdown and phased re-opening.
We are positively encouraged that we are all moving in the right direction. However, in light of all the latest advice, goPhysio will remain closed for face to face in person services at this current time.
The protection of the health and wellbeing of our clients, team, their families and our wider community has always been and continues to be central to all of our decisions.
There are a number of key factors that we have considered when deciding whether it is appropriate to re-open for face tp face services. These include:
Legal, regulatory and professional responsibilities
Risk assessment of the working environment for which we are responsible
Infection prevention and control measures
Access to personal protective equipment (PPE)
‘Virtual first’ approach alternatives available
Patient risk assessment and clinical reasoning
Patient consent for treatment
There is no doubt and it has been acknowledged that the public need and desire to access services such as physiotherapy will rise in the coming weeks. The significant number of people with injury and illness who, because of prolonged and strict social distancing and shielding measures, now increasingly need of support from physiotherapists, will place significant demand on the services that we offer at goPhysio. This renewed and increased demand together with likely public expectation to access face-to-face physiotherapy, will place pressure on us to return to business as usual.
However, our duty of care means we have a legal responsibility to provide a reasonable standard of care to our clients and to act in ways that protect their safety. By offering face to face services, we do not believe at this time we can justify this.
The Chartered Society of Physiotherapists have today produced comprehensive guidance for us. The paragraph highlighted below in particular has guided our decisions making.
Given the potential seriousness and gravity of transmitting and contracting COVID-19, we can not justify that the benefits of seeing people with musculoskeletal injuries is greater than the risk of infection transmission at this time.
That said, guidance is changing all of the time and we are reviewing our position on a regular basis.
We already have lot’s of measures in place and have carried out a comprehensive risk assessment, so that when we decide it is OK to open our doors, we will be able to offer the safest possible environment for all.
In the meantime, our virtual services are the safest way for us to help you. We have had overwhelmingly positive feedback about virtual physio and the regular Pilates classes online.
We are entering week 8 of lockdown, meaning week 8 of home schooling, kids not getting out with their friends, no formal social or sporting activities or hobbies.
How are you coping? Are the kids running you ragged? Has healthy eating and exercise gone out the window completely?
Fear not, we have a few handy ideas to kick start motivations once again!
It can be hard for our bodies and routines to adjust to such a change like the current global pandemic. It’s important, especially for younger members of the family, to introduce a new routine into daily life to keep stress levels low and energy levels high. You may be facing an increased number of stressors and tensions may be riding particularly high. In spite of this, it’s helpful for family units to come together to work through their problems. Try to be mindful of how others are feeling and to be more forgiving if they need to explode, cry or simply hide away.
When we’re feeling down, we often turn to sugary foods to help give us an energy boost. However, this can have a negative effect as the sugar rush may not last long and could potentially crash lower than we were before. Its good to look for energy in carbohydrates, especially complex carbs, such as sweet potato, wholegrain breads, lentils, parsnips or butternut squash. They have a slower release to help keep energy levels higher for longer.
One way to get younger family members eating the right foods is to include them in meal planning and preparation. They’ll have a sense of achievement and is a nice break from any home schooling also. Or, you could class it as a Food Tech class… two birds with one stone.
London Sport has an exhaustive list of ways to get kids up and active at home. Current Government advice is daily exercise to help the public get fresh air during lockdown, but we don’t always want to exercise. Their list gives you extensive areas of other ways to keep fit and healthy from the comfort of your own home; whether its alongside The Nations PE teacher, Joe Wicks, or Sport Englands campaign with Disney to create fun dance routines.
We’re often bombarded by negative messages or thoughts from tabloids and social media, so its important to look for ways to keep spirits high from all the technology we have at our disposal. Zoom quizzes have been very popular in recent weeks, and are a great way to catch up with friends of family. You can also find a whole host of online games and entertainment which loved ones can participate in with you across the internet. They’ll introduce enjoyment and pleasure back to this ‘new normal’ and give younger people another element to a daily routine.
But, lockdown isn’t always about looking after others before yourself. You still need to make time for you. Listen to a podcast, read a book, enjoy the sun; make time for yourself to relax and reflect on the current situation. Self care is so important in order to look after others. Some of the our favourite podcasts are:
When thinking about your current situation it’s helpful to:
Acknowledge and accept that this is how things are at the moment (this is your new ‘normal’ and you can’t push it away or make it disappear). Think about what’s in your control and what is outside of your control.
Find a way to allow yourself to feel all the things that this new normal brings up (it’s OK to feel cross, frustrated, sad, angry and any other associated emotion).
Find ways to do your best within the situation (are there any positives for example, are you getting to do anything which you wouldn’t normally be able to do?).
Stay in the moment rather than regretting the past or worrying about the future. We will be thinking more about this process in the next Step.
Hopefully, we’ll be able to find a sense of normality soon be connect with loved ones properly. There are of course, further online guides on how to cope during lockdown. Support wesbites such as Mind, Family Lives and Young Minds are charities that offer support, knowledge and advice so if you are struggling, please speak to someone.
May is National Walking Month. A month to promote and celebrate the joys, benefits and health effects of walking! Who’d have ever thought we needed to raise awareness of such a simple activity?! Yet, with our increasingly sedentary lifestyles and the impact of this on our nation’s health, the simple task of walking needs some extra support! This year, Walk This May, may have extra importance. For some, it’s one of the only activity they may get to do that provides a break from isolation and some time out and about. For others, the physical activity of walking is crucial for physical and mental health.
So, what’s the big deal with walking?
Not only is walking as a mode of transport great for our environment, walking is a great way to improve or maintain your overall health. Just 20-30 minutes walking a day can improve your cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones, reduce excess body fat, and boost muscle power and endurance. It can also reduce your risk of developing conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancers. Unlike some other forms of exercise, walking is free and doesn’t require any special equipment or training.
Did you know, physical activity does not have to be vigorous or done for long periods in order to improve your health. A 2007 study of inactive women found that even a low level of exercise – around 75 minutes per week – improved fitness levels significantly, when compared to a non-exercising group.
What are the health benefits of walking?
Walking is a weight bearing exercise, as you are carrying your own body weight when you walk. There are lot’s of health benefits associated with walking more. Some of the benefits of walking include:
increased cardiovascular and pulmonary (heart and lung) fitness
reduced risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases
helps manage and improve conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol
helps with joint and muscular pain or stiffness and long standing conditions such as osteoarthritis or osteoporosis
stronger bones and improved balance
increased muscle strength and endurance
reduced body fat
improved psychological and mental health
How much walking?
As a recommended guideline, to get the health benefits, you should try to walk for at least 20 – 30 minutes as briskly as you can on most days of the week. ‘Brisk’ means that you can still talk but not sing, and you may be puffing slightly.
The 30 minutes doesn’t have to be done all at one time, it can be broken up into smaller chunks, like 3 x 10 minute walks if this fits better with your lifestyle or you can’t manage 30 minutes in 1 go. Although, this may not be advisable in the current climate with our 1 activity a day restriction.
Building walking into your daily life is the most effective way to maintain activity levels. Take a look at the ‘Try 20’ Challenge below. There’s lot’s of ways and simple ideas for you to get 20 minutes of walking into your day.
Make walking part of your daily life
If you can build waling into your daily life, you are more likely to maintain it longer term. Some suggestions to build walking into your daily routine include:
Take the stairs instead of the lift (for at least part of the way).
Get off public transport one stop earlier and walk to work or home.
Walk (don’t drive) to the local shops.
Make walking part of your routine, maybe the same time every day scheduled into your diary.
Progress and challenge yourself
Over time, our bodies will tend to get used to physical activity. So if you’re starting to walk more and more, try to increase the intensity of your walking as your fitness levels improve. You can increase the intensity of your walks by:
walking up hills
walking with hand weights
increasing your walking speed gradually by including some quick walking
increasing the distance you walk quickly before returning to a moderate walking pace
walking for longer
Keep it interesting!
Like anything, if you enjoy doing it, you’ll be more likely to stick to it and make it part of your life. The same applies to walking. There are lot’s of ideas to keep your daily walk more interesting:
Pick different routes so you don’t get tired of seeing the same sights, explore places you’ve never ventured to before in your local area.
Walk at different times of the day. Fresh morning walks will be a very different experience to a dusk walk.
Put on a podcast or playlist to listen to whilst you walk.