Get your move on!

South African physiotherapists urge their fellow citizens to move for health

“Move for Good Health – Exercise!” was the rallying call from the South African Society of Physiotherapy (SASP) during National Physiotherapy BackWeek (7-13 September 2015). Physiotherapists across the country offered advice and assessments, and urged citizens to ‘Lunge for Lunch’ in a campaign designed to get South Africans up and active during the working day.

“Our bodies are designed to move – constantly, not just at the gym but all day long,” explains Dr Ina Diener, President of the SASP. “Recent research carried out by Dr Melanie Luhrmann from the Department of Economics at the University of London with Professor Rachel Griffith and Dr Rodrigo Lluberas, has added to our understanding of why modern societies are experiencing epidemics of disease such as obesity. It’s down at least in part to a massive shift in lifestyle, from a time when people did fairly strenuous activities at work and play to a highly sedentary life today. We as physiotherapists see the results in clinical practice, and that’s why we urge people to move, to get up from their desks and couches, to walk and climb stairs and dance and run and cycle… move as much as you can, it’s a key to better health!”

Dr Luhrmann’s study revealed that, over the last 30 years in the UK, obesity has almost trebled, but the intake of kilojoules as fallen by 20%.

“The study found that both men and women are more likely to work in less strenuous occupations than in the past. Work is important because it accounts for a large share of people's time but the academics also noted that how people spend time outside of work has also changed. For example, both men and women spend more time watching TV and more time commuting by public transport or car which are much less strenuous than walking or cycling.”1

“Of course, the quality of the food we eat, our stress levels, and unhealthy habits like not getting enough sleep all play a role in ill-health,” says Dr Diener, “but a large body of evidence has emerged in recent years linking sitting for extended periods to a range of health problems, from Type 2 diabetes to heart disease to cancer.2 And that’s why we as physiotherapists are issuing a clarion call to our fellow citizens to move for the sake of their health!”

If you have any health concerns that might deter you from moving more, such as pain or old injuries, do contact a physiotherapist for advice – they are the medical experts on functioning bodies. Call the SASP Head Office to find a physio close to you, on 011 615-3170.

AlphaGalileo, 1 September 2015

Issued by Americo Pinheiro on behalf of
The South African Society of Physiotherapy
(011) 615-3170