Every year, five million deaths worldwide are due to shortages physical activity, since inactive people have a 20-30% higher risk of death from any disease, reports the Hellenic Pulmonary Society (EIA) on the occasion of World Physical Activity Day (April 6). Although the WHO has set minimum levels of physical activity based on age, at least 1 in 4 adults worldwide does not comply.
Physical activity refers to any form of movement that can be produced indoors or outdoors, while working at home, at work or at leisure, and is divided into low, medium and high intensity. The benefits of physical activity and especially when it is systematic (eg walking, cycling, sports) are numerous and include the improvement of the condition of the cardiorespiratory and musculoskeletal system, the improvement of the functional condition of the individual and the control of the body weight.
According to the EIA, lack of physical activity is even more pronounced among patients with chronic respiratory diseases, as shortness of breath, muscle weakness and depression often limit the patient at home. In the last year, the COVID-19 pandemic and the necessary lockdown measures imposed to control the transmission of the virus have led to an even greater reduction in physical activity, especially among vulnerable groups such as patients with chronic lung disease. , with adverse short-term and long-term effects on their health, says the Ltd. He emphasizes that physical activity, even under these special conditions, is necessary. Of course, he adds, when combined with therapeutic exercise, that is, with individualized, structured and repetitive physical activity, such as that offered by a team of specialized health professionals in the context of lung rehabilitation, the results are multiple, reducing symptoms and exacerbations of the disease. reducing sick days, enhancing self-care and ultimately improving quality of life.
According to the EIA, in most European countries, lung rehabilitation programs have been integrated into the public health system and are an integral part of patients’ treatment. “Unfortunately in Greece they operate only in certain public institutions and are not reimbursed, with the result that they are available to only a limited number of patients. Therefore, now, due to the negative effects of the pandemic, the strengthening of these programs is more necessary than ever “, concludes the Scientific Group” Physiology & Pathophysiology of the Respiratory System-Pulmonary Circulation-Rehabilitation “of the Ltd.