The UPNA and Navarre Health Service - Osasunbidea prepare audiovisual materials to promote physical exercise among people over 70
- The materials include a video with indications so that health professionals can prescribe the most suitable exercises for their patients
The Universidad Pública de Navarra and Primary Care Management of the Navarre Health Service - Osasunbidea have prepared a series of videos to promote physical exercise among the elderly. The videos were directed by Mikel Izquierdo Redín, a UPNA professor and the Head of the Navarrabiomed unit on physical exercise and quality of life, and include the recommendations of the Vivifrail Program, an international benchmark in the prevention of frailty and falls among the elderly.
These videos were produced within the framework of the Navarre Ministry of Health’s Active Aging Program, which takes the same approach as the European Union’s strategy to promote health and quality of life. Work is being done in primary care to promote health and healthy aging among the elderly, which is why Primary Care Management and the UPNA decided to collaborate on this initiative, whose basic aim is to promote physical exercise among the elderly and help health professionals prescribe personalized, adapted physical exercise for members of this age group.
One of the videos targets health professionals in the Navarre Health Service and explains how to perform a functional assessment, a required step before a suitable prescription of personalized exercise can be made.
The project’s other audiovisual materials are grouped in four exercise programs or wheels with different exercise intensity levels so the level can be increased or decreased depending on the person’s situation. Each exercise wheel has a corresponding video to provide a clear explanation on how to do an exercise program in real time. Because of the simplicity of the videos, elderly persons are able to do the exercises while watching the video and incorporate them into their daily routines. The videos can also be used in different places: in the home and also in residences, hospitals and vocational centers.
The Vivifrail Project
The Vivifrail Project, selected in 2017 by a panel of European Commission experts as a model of good practices, designed a training program that combines strength, balance and gait among people over age 70, given that a lack of physical activity is the chief risk of frailty. “Preventing disability in the elderly by taking action against frailty is possible because frailty can be detected and treated,” said Izquierdo.
The Vivifrail Project was initially European in scope, when five European countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) worked together for two years (2014-2016), with Izquierdo as coordinator, within the framework of the European Union’s strategy to promote health and quality of life.
In order to spread the word about the training program, the researchers published free materials for professionals in the fields of health, sports and physical activity: an educational guide, an app for smartphones and tablets, and an e-book. All of them are available on the project’s website. The project is now being implemented in five Latin American countries, thanks to Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Program for Research and Innovation. The project was also included in the recently published WHO Guidelines on Integrated Care for Older People. The Vivifrail Program is mentioned in the Guidelines’ section on improving mobility in the elderly.