Throughout Europe, many people have had their health and wellbeing severely affected by COVID-19. As the pandemic continues to pose a massive threat to the health systems of our European societies, EuropeActive has started to identify promising initiatives emerging from the fitness sector to support people infected with the virus in their path to recovery.
In the UK, several initiatives can be mentioned: ukactive and the educational company CAWS are working with researchers, the NHS, and primary care groups to place discharged Covid-19 patients, and people dealing with long-term chronic disease with certified fitness trainers, as a part of a wider strategy for clubs to better integrate with healthcare professionals and widen their services out to work with much broader populations.
Based at Sheffield Hallam University, the RICOVR unit explores the role that physical activity can play in recovery with people experiencing long-haul COVID-19 symptoms. In collaboration with EuropeActive’s thinktank THINK Active, RICOVR is currently evidencing the role of fitness clubs and leisure centres in COVID-19 rehab programmes.
Nuffield Health, the UK’s largest healthcare charity, is launching a specialist 12-week rehabilitation programme in Manchester, blending physical therapy and mental health support to help patients in their recovery after they have received medical treatment for COVID-19.
The Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) has developed an interactive e-learning programme, coupled to the NHS-approved EXi rehabilitation app, aiming to provide both health and fitness professionals with strategies and techniques to manage key symptoms experienced by people recovering from COVID-19.
A few good practices beyond Europe have been brought to our attention, such as evidence-based recommendations currently developed by the Fitness Professionals Alliance based in Jordan, to help COVID 19 cured patients to successfully return to an active lifestyle.
EuropeActive would like to collect and promote more good practice in this area. Fitness stakeholders are invited to inform us of similar initiatives going on in their own countries and organisations. EuropeActive offers to act as a coordinator, demonstrating the key role the fitness sector can play in making European citizens healthier.