The concern around respiratory conditions has never been more prevalent. As the world faces unprecedented challenges with COVID-19, and with growing discussions on the physical rehabilitation needs for survivors of COVID, we look at what impact the role of power assisted exercise could play in supporting those living with long term respiratory conditions (in this case Asthma and COPD).

Following data collected from service users at leisure facilities across the UK, Shapemaster can report that 19% of users presented with either Asthma, COPD or both.

Further analysis suggests that 30% of these users indicated that they could walk much further whilst 55% say they felt fitter and stronger since accessing power assisted exercise.

I suffer from C.O.P.D and have found that my breathing has much improved since using the equipment, other people have also noticed that I am breathing easier”. Male service user,75, Sencio White Oak Leisure Centre

Further information can be found here:

Support for Members with Respiratory Conditions:

The longer term effects of COVID-19 infection include reduced fitness levels and muscle weakness. The global, multi-directional workout assisted through Shapemaster equipment may help people who are recovering from the virus to improve their respiratory fitness and muscular strength.

Equipment most suitable for those living with long term respiratory conditions include the Side Bend Stepper & Rotary Torso that are particularly good for improving flexibility of the ribcage which helps improve breathing capacity.

With support from Rachel Young, Specialist Physiotherapist, we have created home-based exercises which support these movements:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooCe_0W_k0g&t=

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rc7c8StU6g&t=

Our checklist below may also be helpful in supporting members when returning to normal operations and opening hours.

 Onsite Support

  • Check for use of inhalers and medication
  • Monitor overall status (week to week)
  • Gradual warm up and cool down
  • Interval training can be effective
  • Monitor breathlessness (talk test/RPE)
  • Include relaxation
  • Identifying the triggers (particularly for Asthma) and awareness of environment including dust, pollen, plants etc
  • Good awareness of allergens

Useful Links:

Asthma:

https://www.asthma.org.uk/advice/triggers/coronavirus-covid-19/

COPD:

https://www.blf.org.uk/support-for-you/coronavirus

https://www.blf.org.uk/support-for-you/coronavirus/people-living-with-lung-condition