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KiActiv® to support the active travel and social prescribing pilot in Bath & North East Somerset

26 September 2022

We are pleased to have collaborated with Bath & North East Somerset (B&NES) Council and a number of other local stakeholders on a successful bid to be one of the Active Travel & Social Prescribing pilot sites, tasked with improving levels of active travel amongst the local community. The national initiative, backed by £12.7 million of UK government funding, will see primary and community healthcare professionals issuing social prescriptions for walking, cycling and other active travel options, with the goal of improving the physical and mental health of the local population by leveraging the benefits of physical activity. Exploring new ways of incorporating more active travel into our everyday lives is a positive step towards improved population health outcomes and provides a new means of physical activity promotion for healthcare professionals. 

We believe this initiative outlines a promising approach towards increasing the amount of people who choose to incorporate active travel into their routine and has the potential to contribute towards a healthier general population. Despite the positive steps being taken with the proposed initiative, well-known barriers to physical activity and active travel still exist, and for many people, it is not always as simple as getting on a bike or buying a pair of walking boots. We also know that whilst active travel is a great means of improving physical activity, this only represents a single component of physical activity behaviour and there are many other opportunities to move more within our everyday lives. So, how can we ensure that the new ‘Active Travel Hub’ is having the desired impact on an individual’s overall level of daily physical activity?

At KiActiv®, our patented technology enables the objective and accurate assessment of everyday physical activity across multiple dimensions, all of which are independently associated with health benefits. This approach enables you to develop a comprehensive understanding of all your movement, and supports you to find activities that fit into your lifestyle, with active travel being just one of many options to help you optimise the level of movement in your normal routine. By helping you to develop an in-depth understanding and awareness of your everyday physical activity, we are able to support you to overcome traditional barriers to moving more and enable you to feel the benefits of physical activity. 

The objective nature of our physical activity data collection will enable the project team to evaluate the true impact of active travel on the wider physical activity habits and behaviours of those who are enrolled onto KiActiv® Health. Concurrently, our accessible approach to physical activity and our experience of developing and providing digital services that appeal to ‘hard-to-reach’ groups, enables us to support individuals taking part in the initiative by facilitating an improved understanding of the impact and benefits of everyday movement, and take important steps towards internalising new habits and benefitting long-term health outcomes.

The KiActiv® Team

Hypertension: It’s national ‘Know Your Numbers!’ week – How moving more can help you lower those numbers!

8 September 2022

At KiActiv® we believe in the power of everyday physical activity to prevent a number of health conditions. This week is dedicated to the UK’s biggest blood pressure testing and awareness event called ‘Know Your Numbers!’. Therefore, we thought we would take this opportunity to discuss how optimising your everyday physical activity can help you to reduce the health risks associated with hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases (CVDs).

Hypertension is a condition where the individual affected has high blood pressure and rarely has noticeable symptoms and thus is often referred to as the “silent killer”. The condition is also a major risk factor for developing CVD and is associated with around 50% of the stroke and heart attack cases (British Heart Foundation [BHF], 2022). Other CVDs often caused by hypertension include coronary heart disease and heart failure (NHS, 2022; Slama, Susic and Frohlich, 2002). According to the BHF, around 7.6 million people in the UK currently live with a heart condition and approximately 25% of them lose their lives due to the disease. This makes prevention of hypertension a highly important goal in order to reduce fatality and disability cases caused by hypertension and the further cardiovascular complications that it might cause.

The good news is that the favourable effect of physical movement on blood pressure reduction have been well established (Diaz and Shimbo, 2013). Physical activity and hypertension development have a consistent, dose-response relationship whereby the more you move, the more you are doing to reduce your risk of hypertension.

Physical activity is something that is often dreaded or feared, and there is a common misconception that for physical activity to be valuable it must be vigorous or exercise based. Therefore, it is important to define what physical activity refers to:

“Any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that results in energy expenditure,” (Caspersen, Powell and Christenson, 1985).

This means that any physical movement we engage in, such as cycling to work, walking to the shops, gardening, cooking dinner, and dancing, would all be examples of physical activity and can all have a positive impact on our health and wellbeing.

In addition to being more physically active, we should all also aim to reduce the amount of time we spend sedentary. Sedentary time is any time you’re burning less than 1.8x the amount of energy that you would be burning at complete rest. Reducing sedentary time is crucial for people who are ‘prehypertensive’ as they are considered to have a high-risk of developing hypertension and/or CVD (Diaz and Shimbo, 2013).

Imparting an understanding that physical activity is more than just exercise and sport, and that every move matters, is vital for empowering effective self-management for both managing hypertension and for preventing it occurring in the first place. It’s important to remember that every move you make matters. This can be anything from doing housework to spending more time walking outside. At KiActiv® we encourage people to explore their physical activity interests and optimise their day-to-day movement in the context of their health, capacity and environment.

At KiActiv® we are dedicated to making everyday movement a personalised medicine that delivers better health and wellbeing for everyone. For this reason, our team of experts designed KiActiv® to put you in control of managing your own health and well-being, by combining unique insights into your daily activities and behaviours with the knowledge, skills and confidence to make sustainable change to your lifestyle.

The KiActiv® Team

GP attitudes towards the prescription of physical activity as a preventative medicine  

26 August 2022

Introduction  

Despite decades of scientific research, there remains a lack of understanding around how to effectively promote physical activity for health. As well as this, it is also evident that there is a lack of awareness regarding digital interventions that are designed to support individuals to improve their physical activity habits. Current physical activity advice from general practitioners (GPs) tends to be generic with little consideration for personal preferences – often focussing on exercise-based initiatives such as the ‘Parkrun Race’ and ‘Couch to 5K.’ These schemes certainly do not appeal to everyone, so it is no wonder that most people struggle to act on the physical activity advice they receive from their GP. As such, there is an urgent requirement for interconnected thinking in primary care that appropriately considers digital solutions to increase population-wide physical activity levels.  

Physical Activity and GPs 

Physical activity contributes to the prevention and management of many chronic health conditions. Primary care practitioners have a key role to play in supporting people to improve their physical activity levels, so we can reap the population health benefits as a nation. Physical inactivity rates in the UK are among the highest worldwide and is associated with 1 in 6 deaths. Around 39% of UK adults do not meet the recommended physical activity guidance (BHF, 2017).  

The average person sees their GP more than 5 times per year, and around half of these visits are related to long-term health conditions. Physical activity is extensively proven to play a key role in managing many of these health conditions and therefore can promote better health on a population level if it were to be prescribed appropriately in a primary care setting. GPs have unique access to local communities and can reach those experiencing ill health from many different sub-populations, including those of a lower socio-economic status and those with protected characteristics. This puts them in a strong position to support a huge variety of individuals to improve their health, with physical activity prescription available as a powerful tool to improve health outcomes and reduce our reliance on medications and other prescribed pharmacological treatments. 

The study  

A recent study, explored the awareness and knowledge that primary care GPs have regarding the general physical activity guidelines, as well as their confidence to promote physical activity to their patients. The findings from this study are very interesting. Most GP responders (98.9%) believed that physical activity was important, yet only 35.7% reported being ‘somewhat familiar’ with the current physical activity guidelines.  

Despite this, 74.1% of GPs felt confident to raise the topic of physical activity with their patients. This may be due to the fact they are familiar with the two well-known initiatives that are widely used in England: ‘Couch to 5K’ and the ‘Parkrun Race’. Therefore, it is clear that physical activity can indeed be prescribed by GPs and employed as a powerful tool to improve population health. However, the issue lies with the type of physical activity that they prescribe, as it may only be suitable for a small percentage of the population.  

These common initiatives are unlikely to appeal to the majority of the population due to their strong focus on exercise. As a subset of physical activity, structured exercise has many well-known barriers to participation, such as a lack of time, perceptions of patient attitude and risk, and access to the necessary equipment, such as appropriate footwear. It is clear then that such interventions are only appealing to a small percentage of the population, which are likely to be a completely different demographic to those who are seeking physical activity advice from their GP. For example, someone who has the motivation and facilitators to go and participate in a Parkrun Race is most likely someone who is already in a good position to increase their physical activity. For those who do try to act on the advice of their GP with little thought for how to build their fitness appropriately have a high chance of being burnt out quickly and/or suffering an injury, and therefore drift back to a more sedentary lifestyle. 

If these initiatives are portrayed as the only options for individuals living with long-term health conditions or those who are facing other barriers to becoming more active, they may decide that physical activity is simply not for them as they feel they are unable to take part, or simply do not have enough time to fit structured exercise into their daily routine. It is absolutely vital that other options are made available to support them to improve their level of physical activity. This can start by encouraging GPs to improve their knowledge and understanding of physical activity and how it can best be recommended for better health. In doing so, they will become more comfortable when recommending evidence-based digital tools designed to help patients improve their activity levels, and subsequently more patients will be made aware that the health benefits of regular physical activity can be made accessible, attainable and appealing for all. 

KiActiv® 

At KiActiv®, we use patented technology to help you develop a personalised understanding of your everyday physical activity. Our technology-enabled digital service integrates accurate on-body data from a wearable device with a suite of easy-to-use online tools and the support of a personal KiActiv® Mentor to guide you to make simple but meaningful changes to your daily routine that can be sustained to benefit your long-term health. Rather than simply prescribing you a ‘Parkrun’, we help you build an awareness of your everyday movement across multiple dimensions of physical activity, all of which carry independent physiological benefits for health. This approach to physical activity has proven both accessible and appealing to much wider audience and therefore represents a good option for physical activity promotion at a population-level.  

Conclusion  

In conclusion, GPs clearly value the incredible health benefits of physical activity, yet barriers still exist to embedding its promotion into primary care. It has been recorded that 1 in 4 people would be more physically active if advised to by a GP, so firstly this must occur, but secondly, they must have the understanding and awareness to prescribe the most appropriate interventions for each individual. 

To take steps towards an effective solution and improve the accessibility of physical activity for all, GPs must be made to feel comfortable and well-informed when discussing the array of options available for patients to improve their physical activity and benefit their health. Encouraging a more personalised approach that utilises the array of digital tools on offer – such as KiActiv® Health – rather than making blanket recommendations centred on exercise-based interventions will undoubtedly increase uptake, improve the prevention and management of long-term health conditions, and get as many people as possible moving more to benefit their health.   

The KiActiv® Team

Creating healthy habits

16 August 2022

A very important part of adopting a healthy lifestyle is creating healthy habits and incorporating them into a daily routine.  A habit is formed when an action or behaviour is repeated regularly in a consistent setting until it requires very little conscious effort. For example, washing your hands every time after going to the toilet. Every habit is formed with the help of a trigger that subconsciously makes you perform a certain behaviour. If we use the example above, the trigger would be going to the toilet and the action or behaviour would be washing your hands. Triggers can be different for everybody and habits should be formed in accordance with your personal needs and goals.

Furthermore, a recent study investigated how long it takes for adults to form a new habit. In the study, participants had to choose between executing either a given dietary behaviour (e.g. drinking a glass of water after breakfast) or physical activity behaviour (e.g. walking for 10 minutes after breakfast). The authors found that on average it took 66 days to form a new habit whereas arguably more complex behaviours such as physical activity may require longer than this to become habitual. It is worth keeping in mind that the time needed to create a new habit very much varies between individuals and there isn’t a universal time frame for everyone.

As previously mentioned, habits are triggered by certain events and thus setting cues for your desired behaviour in your daily routine will kickstart its formation. Here is a 6-step guide on how to create a new habit which you can also find here:

  • Decide on a goal
  • Choose a simple action you can take every day
  • Plan when and where you will take your action: choose a time and place that you encounter frequently in your everyday life
  • Every time you encounter that time and place, take the action
  • Congratulate yourself when you find yourself doing the action
  • It gets easier with time, and within 10 weeks you should find you are doing it without even thinking

With the help of our Mentors, KiActiv® Health is here to provide you with the opportunity to form long-term physical activity habits. This is achieved by using a personalized approach to optimize your day-to-day activity that will ultimately transform into a healthy lifestyle change.  With the use of the Self-Determination Theory, we strive to deliver a service that will make you feel confident in your own capabilities to be physically active as well as make you eager to start new healthy habits. That way you will be able to make healthy lifestyle choices independently and you will know how to sustain your physical activity levels beyond the scope of the KiActiv® Health Programme.

At KiActiv®, we help you build active everyday habits and learn how every move you make matters to feeling healthier, happier and stronger. This is achieved by using a personalised approach, grounded in self-determination theory, to help you optimise the level of movement in your normal everyday routine.  We strive to deliver a service that will make you feel confident in your own ability to be physically active, enable autonomous choice over your daily activities, as well as make you feel supported whilst creating and sustaining new healthy habits. By developing a personalised awareness and in-depth understanding of your everyday physical activity, you will be able to make healthy lifestyle choices independently and know how to sustain your physical activity levels beyond the initial 12-week KiActiv® Health Programme. Visit our ‘How it Works’ page for more information on how we utilise patented technology to support you on your journey towards a happier, healthier lifestyle.

The KiActiv® Team

Everyday physical activity can act as a powerful medicine to fight the onset of type 2 diabetes

18 July 2022

At KiActiv® we strongly believe in the power of everyday physical activity as a medicine to both fight and prevent against disease. With this in mind, a recent study by researchers from the University of Eastern Finland caught our attention. The study dived into the positive impact of regular physical activity on the body’s metabolic profile and the impact this has on type 2 diabetes.

What is Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a non-communicable disease whereby blood glucose levels are too high and our bodies cannot, therefore, effectively control blood glucose, which leads to a host of different health issues.

In 2019, there were 1.5 million deaths caused by type 2 diabetes. Being overweight is the primary risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes, so healthier lifestyle choices, such as incorporating regular physical activity into your normal daily routine, is vital to reducing your risk.

The Study

The study which caught our attention included 7,000 men who were followed up for 8 years, providing us with a good level of information on their long-term health. They were classified into four categories based on their physical activity: physically inactive, physically active only occasionally, physically active no more than twice a week, and physically active at least three times a week. None of the participants had type 2 diabetes at the beginning of the study. 

A physical activity questionnaire was conducted among the men at the beginning of the study period and again eight years later. Participants also underwent an oral glucose tolerance test and had their metabolites analysed from a blood glucose sample.

The Results 

The results of the study demonstrate that men in the highest physical activity category had a 39% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes at follow-up, and men who were physically active no more than twice a week had a 30% lower risk, than men who were physically inactive. This shows that any form of physical activity is going to be beneficial to your health, and could lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

What is Physical Activity?

With the results of the study firmly in mind, if someone asked you: “what is physical activity?”, what do you envisage? You may immediately picture someone going for a run, or lifting weights in the gym, but physical activity is much simpler than this. In fact, WHO defines physical activity as “any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure”. 

This means that the common depiction of physical activity as something which must be vigorous, sweaty and, to many people, rather unpleasant is simply untrue. This is exercise, and whilst exercise is extremely beneficial for health and may be an appropriate option for some, it is only a subset of physical activity as a whole. Physical activity encapsulates each and every movement we make, which is far more appealing and accessible to a wider proportion of the population, many of whom may even believe they cannot be physically active. At KiActiv®, we believe in finding opportunities to move more. This could include anything from taking the dog out for a walk, spending more time digging flowerbeds in the garden or simply moving more around the house!

We help people to make the most of everyday life using personalised technology to get you moving in a way that works for you, as every move you make matters.

It is never too late to start making these small, yet impactful, changes. 

Steve’s experience; a short video from One Gloucestershire

12 May 2022

Steve joined KiActiv® Health with a positive attitude and was enthusiastic about finding new ways to be active. He quickly grasped the concept of every-day activity and recognised where he was more sedentary than he had previously thought. This prompted him to start making small changes to his lifestyle such as washing the car himself instead of taking it to the car wash, as well as walking around at work between meetings.

“It has helped me to value the positive effects of increasing daily activities as part of my normal routine…I wouldn’t necessarily have seen the merit in going to the shops before, now I get it.”

At the end of his 12 weeks with KiActiv®, Steve felt that his physical and mental health had improved, and he now felt more confident in managing his health conditions. He wanted to show his appreciation by taking part in this video, and wants to encourage others to make the same changes he has:

Chris’s KiActiv® story

11 May 2022

Here at KiActiv® we love helping people make positive steps towards achieving their personal health-related goals. Taking control of your own health has never been easier, but don’t just take our word for it! Chris wanted to share her experience of KiActiv® Health and how it has helped her to find the value in her everyday movement, which has benefitted both her physical and mental health.

Chris came to KiActiv® expressing that she wanted to lose weight and had struggled to lose weight in the past. She suffered from chronic pain in her feet which held her back from participating in exercise, but she was keen to change her lifestyle for the better.

Chris quickly grasped the concept of everyday movement, as she had previously thought only vigorous, structured exercise was beneficial. She has two young children and two dogs who keep her busy and was surprised at how much her day-to-day activities were contributing to her overall activity levels. From here, she began to identify where she could add in more activity, even from just “pottering” around the house, cleaning, and gardening.

“It was really good to see that all movement counts, it gave me the confidence to do more… I don’t even have to go to the gym, even just washing the car counts”.

Alongside KiActiv®, Chris decided to make some changes to her diet to help with her weight loss and managed to lose an impressive 22.5 lbs (13% of her body weight!) across the 12 weeks. She found that she was more conscious of her activity levels, and that the more she moved, the easier it was to lose weight and achieve her personal goals. She enjoyed using the tagging and planning features on her online KiActiv® dashboard and commented that both were very useful tools to improve her motivation to change and sustain her new healthy behaviours.

At the midway point of the 12-week programme, Chris felt that her fitness level had improved significantly, and also noticed that she felt a lot more energetic than before. This is when she decided to start incorporating more exercise into her daily routine, as she had hugely improved her confidence around physical activity and exercise, simply by starting out with smaller, more manageable daily activities.

Towards the end of the programme, Chris contracted COVID-19. Despite being stuck indoors, she still managed to stick to her planned daily activities in and around the house. Once she had recovered, and with her new found understanding and confidence regarding her physical activity, Chris decided to take up the Couch to 5K initiative alongside her daughters. She reported that she didn’t get any pain in her feet, which she put down to her weight loss and had also commented on an improvement in her overall mood.

“Since we’ve been chatting you’ve given me the confidence to plan things and exercise.”

“I would never have been able to do this before, I wouldn’t have had the energy… Now I’m like, I can do it… I wouldn’t be where I am today without our sessions”.

By her final session, Chris was able to run for 28 minutes without stopping, which she never imagined she would be able to do. In the past she had found it difficult to find a balance when it came to activity and weight loss, but now she has been able to find that balance. She felt like she had found a new routine that was sustainable, and is hoping to continue her new way of life long into the future

“For the first time in my whole life I feel like I have a good balance… It doesn’t phase me now… you have started me off on something I never thought I would be able to do!”

At the end of 12-weeks Chris provided us with this testimonial:

The KiActiv® Health programme has been absolutely brilliant for me. I was nervous at first, the nerves soon disappeared as soon as I spoke with my consultant. She was incredibly encouraging, she asked all the right questions which helped me to really think about movement in a different way, any movement at all is great and the benefits are there to see: physically on my own health chart, but also in the way I now look and the new confidence that I have gained.

I started off with little movement targets and have gradually built up. I am now regularly planning my exercise into my week and find myself looking forward to it, as my time and when I have finished it, I feel amazing.

I now have no aches, sleep well and have lots more energy.

The programme has worked really well with regular catch ups, this really helps with motivation and encouragement, especially at the beginning when starting out always seems tricky and a lot of thinking is required, for example: looking at the chart “this is where I am, what would I like to achieve?” 

Sophie was like having my own personal trainer and it felt like supportive teamwork. 

I looked forward to my regular calls, planning and updates and will miss them, however I now have the skills to ensure I continue with making sure movement and exercise is part of my life.

Movement has gone from a subconscious guilt, in the back of my mind, to a conscious pride, in what I have achieved so far and in the possibilities of what I will achieve in the future.

I would highly recommend KiActiv®. I have achieved soo much in a relatively short time and feel that everyone could benefit from this program. The mix of being able to see my activity, planning it and the encouragement from my consultant is just the best combination. I feel incredibly lucky to have been on the programme and it has improved so many aspects of my life. Thank you.”

We are committed to establishing everyday physical activity as the foundation of a healthy lifestyle and helping you to recognise that every move you make matters for your health and wellbeing. If you would like to learn more about getting started, to join hundreds of people just like Chris in taking control of their own health, you can register your interest here.

REACT: preventing physical decline in over 65s with mobility issues

21 April 2022

A long-term study into the effectiveness of a community-based group exercise programme has found that the Retirement in Action (REACT) programme can prevent physical decline in older adults (65+) who suffer with mobility issues. Researchers from the Universities of Bath, Birmingham, Exeter and West of England (UWE Bristol) who conducted the study concluded that the programme should be made available to all over 65s with mobility issues in the UK.

What is REACT?

It is a behaviour change intervention targeted at older adults who are beginning to experience problems with mobility, such as joint stiffness, muscle pain and/or weakness and are finding everyday tasks challenging. This was determined by the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB), and those who scored between 4 and 9 were included. REACT aims to prevent further decline in mobility by utilising exercises that target lower limb strength, balance, and stamina, with the focus of the programme being on fun, social interactions and fostering a better sense of community.

Funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) – Public Health Research programme, the REACT programme was conducted in Bath, Bristol, Birmingham and Devon over four and half years, and involved a total of 777 participants aged 65 and over. Participants were randomly assigned into either an intervention or a control group. The intervention group attended group-based exercise sessions throughout the REACT programme; twice a week for three months and then once a week for a further nine months. Individuals in the control group attended three ‘healthy ageing’ sessions over the course of a year.

The researchers found that:

  • 12 months after completing the  REACT programme, the participants who had attended group-based exercise sessions had significantly greater mobility than those who did not, suggesting both a short and long-term positive intervention effect.
  • REACT programme participants found it easier to walk climb the stairs, and demonstrated greater independence whilst performing normal everyday activities.
  • A minimum of one strength, balance, and mobility exercise session per week was sufficient to provide meaningful benefits on lower limb physical function.
  • Per person, the cost of delivering the programme was £622, but the health care savings amounted to £725 over the course of two years. This evidence suggests that longer-term cost-savings could be far higher.

Professor Afroditi Stathi, REACT Chief Investigator from the University of Birmingham, commented: “Physical activity carries a wide range of benefits for older people including a longer and healthier life, prolonged independence and autonomy, better mobility and improved wellbeing. Yet, many older people face a downward spiral of declining mobility, whereby the less active they are, the more limited they become.”

“Through REACT we have shown that this steady decline is avoidable. It can be prevented, or in many cases be reversed through an exercise programme that is individually tailored and progressive.”

Dr Max Western of the University of Bath’s Department for Health explained: “The aim of REACT was always to have real impacts on people’s lives. Given these significant results, we are calling on healthcare professionals and policymakers to draw on our findings and implement similar REACT sessions in other parts of the country. Our studies show just how effective REACT can be; we hope many more people will soon be able to benefit from it in the way our participants did.”

The team of researchers now hope that the REACT programme can be rolled out nationwide via community-based activity providers in local areas. 

This study highlights the importance of staying active into later life, and the risks of becoming inactive as we age. Even small changes to your lifestyle to incorporate more movement can help to maintain mobility, independence, and result in a better quality of life as we age. At KiActiv®, we have worked with many older clients to empower them to self-manage their health and improve their personal physical activity in a way which suits their health status, preferences and surroundings. It is never too late to take positive steps towards improving your health, so why not begin your journey to a happier, healthier you today, and get started with KiActiv®.

The KiActiv® Team

March news update

5 April 2022

Here at KiActiv®, we are constantly looking towards the latest research to innovate and progress our programmes. Being guided by the literature not only enables us to continue to adapt internally, but also helps us to highlight the ever-evolving benefits of everyday activity, ensuring that you can fully appreciate the positive impact that your increased activity is having on your health!

As a result, we have collated some of the most interesting, cutting-edge research pieces published this month to afford you a wider insight into everything from your general wellbeing and physical health to your cognitive and mental health too.

  • Guidance for Long Term Conditions: New guidance published this month aims to support people with long-term health conditions to be more physically active. The 5Is have been designed to identify what makes a positive physical activity experience for those with long-term health conditions. They stand for: Individualised, Integrated, Influencers, Inclusive and Informed. Using the 5Is can help those with long term health conditions overcome any barriers they might face in regard to physical activity, and allow them to take control of their health. You can read the full guidance here.
  • Diabetes & Dementia: Regular physical activity was found to be independently associated with a decreased risk of all-cause dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and vascular dementia among patients with new-onset type 2 diabetes, according to the results of a study published in Diabetes Care. “These findings suggest that regular physical activity should be encouraged to prevent dementia in high-risk populations and those with recent-onset type 2 diabetes,” the study authors stated. You can read more here.
  • Mental Health: In the first year of the pandemic, global anxiety and depression rates increased by 25%, according to the WHO. Physical activity can support mental health by reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression as well as causing beneficial molecular changes. Most importantly, there is no one activity that you must do to gain these benefits, it is all about what the individual finds satisfying and doable. It doesn’t take much to make a big impact. Click here to read the full article.
  • Occupational Activity: An editorial has been published that suggests that occupational physical activity alone is not enough to keep us healthy. High work demands may be the reason many people are reluctant to participate in any kind of physical activity outside of work. However, high work demands are not consistent with the recommendations from international guidelines for adequate intensity, frequency, and volume to gain the positive changes in aerobic capacity, physical strength, and flexibility. Therefore, it is important to remain physically active in your free time too. You can read the full comment here.
  • Physical Activity & Sleep: A week of physical inactivity has the same negative mental impact as a week of broken sleep, a study by sports equipment company Asics has concluded. When active people stopped exercising, they saw decreases in confidence levels by 20%, positivity by 16%, energy levels by 23% and the ability to cope with stress by 22%. These same participants experienced immediate improvements in their state of mind after resuming their regular activity levels. Click here to watch a video about the study.

At KiActiv® we always aim to provide our clients with the best advice based off the latest scientific research. We hope this insight into some recent studies can help you when it comes to physical activity and making choices to improve your health.

We’ve been shortlisted for a 2022 ‘Leading Healthcare’ Award

25 March 2022

‘Keeping Active During COVID-19,’ a COVID response pilot project for Pulmonary Rehabilitation (PR) across the Wiltshire region has been shortlisted in the Most Promising Pilot Programme category at the Leading Healthcare Awards 2022.

The Leading Healthcare awards celebrate and recognise a series of outstanding teams, partnerships, innovations and programmes across various domains of the health and care sector.

The pilot project, delivered by KiActiv® in collaboration with the West of England Academic Health Science Network (WEAHSN) and Wiltshire Health and Care (WHC) aimed to support PR patients who otherwise would have struggled to get the necessary support for their pulmonary condition during the pandemic.

In May 2020, the project was launched as a response to concerns that patients with chronic respiratory conditions could not maintain adequate levels of physical activity in the absence of usual healthcare services as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Working in collaboration with the WHC respiratory team, we were able to provide our remote digital service, KiActiv® Health, to patients who needed it most.  Through the delivery of our remote digital service, we were able to promote sustainable self-care and support patients to stay healthy in the comfort of their own homes, despite the unprecedented nature of the situation. The remote nature of the digital service overcame access-related barriers such as the need to travel to a physical location, making it accessible to all. This meant that we were able to engage patients who typically would not take up the offer of traditional PR services, as well as those who were unable to attend traditional in-person services due to the pandemic.

Ultimately, through efficient collaboration with brilliant partner organisations, we were able to demonstrate that KiActiv® Health could be an effective option to support patients with a pulmonary condition to self-care remotely. The independent evaluation by WEAHSN highlights the initial success of the pilot project, and supports the future use and scaling of KiActiv® Health amongst this patient cohort.

The KiActiv® team are very proud to be nominated for this award and this serves as great motivation to continue delivering our services to clients up and down the country. We would like to thank our partner organisations WEAHSN and WHC for all the effort and hard work put in throughout the course of the pilot project, and are looking forward to the virtual awards ceremony on the 7th April.

Here is what one of our clients had to say about their time on the pilot:

“By using KiActiv®, it has helped me come to terms with the limitations I now have, whilst also giving me a structured way to increase my physical abilities on a daily basis. This has helped my mental wellbeing, and made me feel more in control of my health. Looking back through the notes I had made, I see that how I felt about my health has risen from 20/100 at the start of the course to 75/100 at the final session. This is a real testament to the positive impact KiActiv® has had on my life. It is great to know that I can continue to use the programme, and still have the phone support available if I have any questions in the future.”

(Male, 50-years, Lung Cancer).

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