Sustainable health promotion for the seniors during COVID-19 outbreak: a lesson from Tokyo
Keywords:COVID-19, ageing, Japan, care prevention, public health, pandemic, telehealth
The COVID-19 pandemic is novel corona virus infection outbreak that has gone global in 2020. Current prevention policies consist of hand hygiene and social distancing. Emergencies overloaded health services and shocked the logistics chains in many countries, especially Italy and China. Having more than a quarter of its population being elderly, Japan is at high risk for COVID-19 induced morbidity and mortality.
This situation cancelled schedules of all routine group exercise activities for the seniors in Japan. While the outbreak is ongoing, staying at home is safe. However, successive days of being house-ridden and limited movement can lead to excessive physical inactivity. Some elderly who are not moving much can lose a significant amount of muscle strength, flexibility and aerobic capacity. It can accelerate the frailty and dependency of the seniors, and subsequently, claiming of care and health services. Moreover, existing and new evidences showed that physical activity can promote antiviral immunity.
An alternative to usual group exercise activities is crucial to keep seniors active without affecting social distancing. While staying at home for long, functional exercises maintaining basic level of physical activity and movements are urgently required to be introduced to the seniors in Tokyo and around the world to prevent functional decline.
Home exercise is a practical option. Therefore, we made a home-version of the functional training exercise video with different sets of 10-minutes exercise for 7 days a week. This breakthrough alternative may sustain health promotion for the elderly persons to preserve their active aging and maintain optimal health.
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