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The importance of physical activity during lockdown

For several weeks now, the majority of the UK population have been strongly advised to remain mainly in their homes to slow the spread of COVID-19. This unprecedented guidance is likely to reduce physical activity levels in people of all ages, which may have significant longer-term implications on muscle strength and mass. It is likely that during this period, some people will develop sarcopenia, the accelerated loss of muscle strength and mass.

As a research group with a particular interest in muscle function as we age, the AGE team recently discussed the importance of encouraging people of all ages to continue to exercise. This will likely require some adjustments, as people are not able to attend their usual exercise classes or gyms, or even take a walk outside in some cases. There are excellent online video resources but access to these in some older people may be limited and they may not be appropriate in those who have existing limitations in their mobility.

After the COVID pandemic settles, multidisciplinary teams, such as those operating from the Belsay and Melville Day Units will likely need to support large numbers of older people with reduced muscle strength, poor balance and falls. This will require novel ways of working, as highlighted in recent Twitter discussions involving Prof. Miles Witham from our group. It also highlights the importance of research being carried out by the AGE group and others in novel approaches to the prevention and treatment of sarcopenia.

Picture shows one of our MIlkMAN participants undertaking physical activity training

Last modified: Tue, 14 Apr 2020 10:45:34 BST