Success Stories

“I would recommend all COPD patients consider participating in KiActiv®, not just for themselves but for their families.”
Richard, 79, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Here are Richard’s thoughts on KiActiv® Health

“Although diagnosed with alcoholising spondylitis as a teenager I have managed to lead an active life playing tennis, squash and later qualified as a basic rock-climbing instructor. I have trekked in New Zealand, India, Nepal, Peru and Bolivia. After taking early retirement from social work, I returned to university and completed a MA in archaeology.  I still do some history teaching with primary school children. 

I am a 79-year-old male diagnosed with COPD about 10 years ago. At first it was mild and then gradually began to impinge on my day-to-day activities and finally about a year ago became very inhibiting and depressing. A re-diagnosis to severe prompted a change from casual use of inhalers to a daily inhaler with a small number of steroids produced a dramatic change. Daily chores and activities became easier. I was invited to participate in a pulmonary rehabilitation course. This course was excellent. I learnt about COPD, what causes breathlessness, exercise and how to take control of COPD and stop it controlling one’s life. I was then put in touch with the KiActiv®.

I was given considerable and patient support to get to grips with the computer software. With the help of Kirstie I learnt to use the software to analyse my daily activities. I learnt that, apart from being at total rest, every movement I make is a form of physical activity. I was encouraged to stop labelling conventional activities such as walking, gardening as the only legitimate form of physical activity. With the help of Kirstie and the KiActiv® personalised technology, I learnt that I could develop my own pattern of physical activity, for example I needed a purpose to walking to ensure that I wasn’t just walking for the sake of it. I now plan my walks with purpose, for example to experience the delights of a woodland or to go to the cash machine the long way round. I have learnt from Kirstie what that all movement is important and have stopped believing all my physical woes are because I am unfit.

Interaction with the programme has not resulted in much physical change in my COPD. I suspect this will come more long-term, particularly when I stop shielding. The substantial improvement has been in my understanding of COPD and the role that physical activity and everyday movement can play in learning to live with COPD.  It has been a mental journey – a process of re-defining attitudes and habits. I am not there yet but I am aware of the direction to take and been given the means to succeed.

I would recommend all COPD patients consider participating in KiActiv® not just for themselves but for their families. COPD is not curable but the impact of its symptoms can be modified and this programme really helps.

Thank you to the whole KiActiv® team and in particular to Kirstie Tew [KiActiv® Mentor].”

Richard’s Story

Throughout his time with KiActiv®, Richard demonstrated an increased understanding of everyday physical activity and the benefits of all movement, not just exercise on his health. He told his Mentor that he had been conscious of moving more due to the Band and explained that it was encouraging him to increase his activity. 

 “It’s a Eureka moment going on here. What I can do is look at my activities that give me a good result and I can then work out the best efficient ways in which I can burn my calories.”

At the start of his programme, Richard mentioned that he intended to walk every day, but that the length of these walks were shortened if it was damp or wet. He also expressed his enjoyment for building things, and explained that he was currently making bird boxes, whilst also indicating his interests in gardening. 

However, during the programme, Richard was diagnosed with shingles. He wanted to keep up his activity, and so had been trying to replace the gardening with other movements. This included pottering around the house and putting up decorations, but he explained that he did feel limited inside the house. 

Despite these evident barriers, he felt that he was getting better at filling in his sedentary time with movement. He already felt fitter, evidenced by being able to get up the stairs without aching – something he previously really struggled with. He had been conscious of moving more due to the Band and explained that it was encouraging him to move more during the winter months, something which he would not have done previously.

“I’ve improved so much mentally about my condition…Mental change has been the most important part of this process.”