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ONLINE SHOPPING MAKES PEOPLE WEAK BECAUSE THEY NO LONGER CARRY HOME GROCERIES, SAY PHYSIOTHERAPISTS 

29.09.2017
Online shopping might be convenient but it is bad for muscle strength 
Credit: Rawpixel.com 

Internet shopping was hailed as an end to the back-breaking schlep from the supermarket or department store weighed down with cumbersome carrier bags and boxes.

But while online stores have offered much-wanted convenience, they are ruining our muscles, physiotherapists have warned.

Fail to carry home their own groceries is stripping people of muscle-strengthening exercises that help keep them healthy into older age, according to the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.

Its poll of more than 2,000 people found 24 per cent of those aged 65 and over admit that they now do no strengthening activities at all each week.

This puts them at increasing risk of falls and other health problems, the society has warned.

NHS guidelines suggest people do two strengthening sessions a week, such as exercising with weights, or lifting and carrying heavy loads such as groceries.

For people aged 65 and over, the sessions can also include activities that involve stepping and jumping, such as dancing.

Professor Karen Middleton, chief executive of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, said: "Online shopping may be very convenient but it does mean that we are losing some of the methods that used to exist for strengthening our muscles.

"We're carrying fewer bags home from the supermarket because it arrives at our door.

"We're also waiting at home for other goods to be delivered when in the past we would have gone out to buy them.

"This isn't an argument against progress. It's just to show that maintaining strength and being active doesn't have to mean going to the gym, and we should look for ways to build it into our everyday lives."

She said people should not think that becoming weaker and frailer was an inevitable part of getting older.

"As the guidelines set out, it doesn't mean immediately hitting the gym to lift weights. To start, it can be digging in the garden or simple body-weight exercises like standing up out of a chair 10 times.

"There are easy ways to do it but the essential thing is to get started and these poll results show a lot of work needs to be done to get that message out."

The Centre for Ageing Better and Public Health England is currently carrying out an expert review into the benefits of strength and balance activities for older people.

It will culminate in a series of practical recommendations for the public, practitioners and policy makers on what physical activities are most effective in increasing strength and balance.

Dr Justin Varney, Head of Adult Health at Public Health England, said: “Your bones start to weaken from your late 20s and muscle mass shrinks from 40, plus musculoskeletal conditions are the biggest cause of sickness absence from work.

“So it’s not only older people who need to act. Include bone and muscle strengthening and balance-boosting activities into your daily routine and you’ll benefit as you age, increasing the chances of being free from chronic musculoskeletal illness in your 40s, 50s and beyond."

In the last two years in England, over a quarter of adults over the age of 60 and almost 40 per cent of adults over the age of 80 reported a fall.

Falls cause an estimated 95 per cent of all hip fractures, which cost the NHS over £1 billion every year.

Jess Kuehne, programme lead for Physical Activity at the Centre for Ageing Better, said: “We know that undertaking regular activity to strength muscles and improve balance can have a significant impact on the quality of your life as you get older and reduce your risk of falls, which are disastrous for both individuals and put heavy demands on our health and social care system.”

Professor Gina Radford, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, said: “The importance of strengthening, balance and coordination activities is rightly emphasised in the national guidelines for adult physical activity – but it is important that we support people with practical recommendations of how to achieve this safely.




source:  telegraph.co.uk