Are Canadians losing their ability to move? Check out these highlights of a study from the Directions in Physiotherapy by the Canadian Physiotherapy Association.
A majority of Canadians (54%) believe they are less mobile today than 10 years ago. Overall mobility declines with age, especially after age 55. Most Canadians believe their physical mobility is at least the same as that of their peers. However, Canadian women report more difficulty with tasks like climbing stairs or walking more than one kilometre, compared to men of the same age. Many Canadians say they cannot easily complete one or more of the 10 mobility tasks tested in the study:
- 66% have difficulty with vigorous activities
- 37% have difficulty climbing several flights of stairs
- 28% have difficulty bending or stooping
- 24% have difficulty walking one kilometre
So, what can we do?? Become SMART!!!
The SMART Principle
- Stretch – Stretch as a warm up, as a break during repetitive activities and as a cool down after activities. This will help you move easily, keep your muscles flexible and relaxed, keep your joints mobile, and relieve tension and strain.
- Move – Get moving. Stay Moving. Keep moving for life. Find activities you enjoy. Walking and gardening are two ways to get your whole body in motion.
- Add it up – An hour is power. Add up everything you do in a day and aim for a minimum of 60 minutes of movement. To gain mobility, plan activities throughout your day that keep you moving for periods of at least 10 minutes.
- Reduce strain – Use tools that work for you.
- Tools, such as computers and keyboards, purses and backpacks, gardening tools and equipment, are meant to ease work, not cause strain. Take measures to fit your tools to you, not you to the tools.
Talk to a Physiotherapist
Physiotherapists are health care professionals dedicated to enhancing and restoring your mobility. Their unique contribution comes from understanding how the body moves, what keeps it moving and how to restore your mobility.
You can find out how you measure up against other Canadians by taking the Mobility Quiz on the Canadian Physiotherapy Association website.