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Social isolation: You can also move around at home
Social distancing is of enormous importance during the corona crisis to curb the spread of the corona virus. But many people who stay at home often don't move enough. That endangers health. An expert has some tips on how people of all ages can keep moving at home.
In order to make the best of the situation during the Corona crisis, it is important to pay attention to a healthy lifestyle. That also works if you stay in your own four walls. Prof. Dr. Susanne Tittlbach from the University of Bayreuth explains how this works.
Make everyday life healthier and more dynamic
Prof. Susanne Tittlbach holds the Chair of Sport Science III - Social and Health Sciences of Sport at the University of Bayreuth. According to a message, the scientist is significantly involved in the development of the “Smart Moving” program, which makes everyday study life more dynamic and healthier.
In the interview, the expert analyzes the consequences of social isolation at home on health and gives tips on how people of all ages can still keep moving at home.
Schoolchildren stay at home until the end of the Easter holidays, for many the situation feels like a "curfew". How do you get your child away from the cell phone?
"Every little movement is good and sensible! The living conditions and the age of the children naturally play a major role. If there is a garden, the children should be in the garden as much as possible, as there is more space to really let off steam, for running, hopping and playing ball, "says Dr. Tittlbach.
If there is no garden, it is important to be inventive and creative in the apartment. And getting up again and again and setting yourself guidelines: for example, school work while sitting, reading while standing in another room, jumping while watching TV, etc., says the expert.
This can also be linked to digital media. “Parents should not see this media as an“ enemy ”, but also use it to increase the attractiveness of movement with media. So maybe tie the child's own fitness tracker around and set the task of walking 1,000 steps, ”explains the scientist.
Another possibility is to organize a challenge: “Can the dad or the child manage more steps in the apartment during the day? A weekly schedule on the fridge to document the steps every day is additional motivation. Dance games and apps with game ideas are suitable for younger children. All in all, it applies to younger children that the playing character should be as high as possible. "
Older children and teenagers, whose motive for movement is often based on figure formation and muscle growth, can be Motivate Tittlbach with a functional training via app. “For such a program at home there are excellent exercises with your own body weight. Otherwise, all I really need is a mat or a carpet and exercise instructions that can be found in a large number on the Internet. "
Minimize seating times
Schoolchildren who are currently forced to learn more at home are recommended by Dr. Tittlbach Videos created as part of the "Smart Moving" project. These can help you move more and sit less.
She advises older people: “As long as walks that people can do alone are still permitted, older people should also use this option. Walking is basically a whole body workout that appeals to endurance, strength and coordination. That makes a lot of sense. "
And further: “If walks are no longer permitted or the elderly is in quarantine: enjoy fresh air on the balcony or by the open window. And there are also exercises here: If you can still stand well, you can hold on to the window frame and carry out smaller gymnastic exercises, e.g. Shifting weight from one leg to the other, light squats, spreading one leg and pulling up with a change of legs, both legs firmly on the floor and the upper body slowly rotating to the right and left.
The scientist points out that everyone should do as much as their own strength allows, even the smallest movements make sense! These are possible even when sitting: “Riding a bike or crossing straight legs. Change the position as often as possible, sometimes standing, walking up and down while talking on the phone, etc. This also gets the circulation going and activates! "
There are already too many overweight people
When asked if she fears an "obesity epidemic" if people now stay at home for weeks, Dr. Tittlbach: "Actually, we already have an" obesity epidemic "in our society and an" obesity pandemic "worldwide. The difference to the current pandemic is only that the disease is not communicable in the sense of a viral infection. "
Obesity, diabetes and the like are not contagious, but they are responsible for a large number of deaths worldwide. According to the expert, this often goes down a bit because at first it doesn't seem as threatening as it does now with the virus.
However, physical activity is not the only decisive factor for the rate of obesity in society, but also nutritional behavior. "It would therefore be important in my view that people should also be made aware of the importance of a balanced, healthy diet right now in order to minimize the health consequences of lock-in," says the scientist.
“The longer the lock-in lasts, the greater the risk that the behavior of people (even more) will change in the inactive direction. We know from studies that building a behavior change towards more exercise, healthier eating, quitting smoking etc. is a very long, intensive process and that the difficult phases (also psychologically) are at the beginning of the behavior change, ”explains Dr. Tittlbach.
Those who “just managed to integrate the weekly fitness training into their weekly schedule and found a social group in which they can feel comfortable while training will have a hard time reactivating the whole thing after the lock-in. There is therefore a fear of an even greater drop-out rate from exercise programs (e.g. from health insurance companies, fitness studios, sports clubs), even after our social life has reopened. ”
When asked what a lock-in can mean socially, the expert says: "It is interesting that you only notice what you have in a thing, what this thing gives you when you suddenly no longer have it . This will be the same for people with regard to the suspension of the top sports competitions, but also of the sports training groups. "
According to the scientist, the social functions of sport, including integration and inclusion, will be lost during the lock-in period. “Social contacts will therefore be lacking - especially for those who live alone and have no family contact options. For many people, whether active or inactive as a spectator, sport is a place of social relationships, ”says Dr. Tittlbach.
"The identity-creating processes for active people or for inactive spectators and fans of sports are immense, but that is missing. To feel like you are part of the training group is only really possible during training. Feeling part of the fan group of a well-known soccer team is best done as a spectator in the stadium, in the clubhouse or at public viewing - always in a social context. In my view, sport will not lose this importance in the face of COVID19. It will be possible to reactivate it, ”says the expert. (ad)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
- University of Bayreuth: Expert opinion on the consequences of the corona crisis for health and sport - tips for at home, (accessed: March 23, 2020), University of Bayreuth