Sitting disease is a new type of disease that is recognized by the scientific community but not yet by the medical community as a diagnosable disease according to juststand.org. This disease is seen in individuals that are not active daily and spend the majority of their day sitting.
According the American Journal of Epidemiology, “the average American spends 55% of waking hours in sitting activities” and the research also shows there is an increased risk of death in these individuals.
What can you do in your facility to help your residents avoid this disease?
Getting residents moving that are able is the best thing you can do to help. Increasing activity has been shown over the years to increase blood flow, burn calories, and keep the body young. Some ways to keep your residents active include:
1. Walking. Take residents for walks around the facility (inside or out) or even the neighborhood.
2. Give them the option to stand. If they are able to stand during for different activities throughout the day, their blood flow will increase
3. Moderate Exercise- If your residents are able, offering exercise as a daily activity is beneficial. Some types of exercise that may be beneficial include balancing techniques and stretching.
4. Play Games. Playing games that require some movement like a bean bag toss would be beneficial and fun!
For years, researchers and doctors have stated that increasing daily activity is beneficial for the body and brain. Today they have a name for the impact and effect of sitting too much on the body. By helping to increase your resident’s daily activity and decreasing the amount of time they sit, will help to keep them healthy longer and allow them to enjoy their days.
Please note, any new activity or exercise should always be approved by the resident and their physician.