Getting Seniors Ready For Sport
25 Sep 2016
In a bid to encourage more seniors to take up sport, ActiveSG has partnered the Singapore Physiotherapy Association to develop a fitness test for seniors to assess their fitness level and choose a suitable sport for them to pursue.
In a National Sport Index Survey conducted by Sport Singapore in 2014, 64% of respondents who exercise less than once a month, said that age and health issues were their main reason why they did not exercise regularly. Mr Lai Chin Kwang, Chief, ActiveSG said, “Age should never be a reason for seniors to shun away from sports. Regular exercise is key to ageing well and ensuring a high quality of life, physically and mentally. The introduction of this new fitness test, FIT for FUNction, will help seniors be more aware of their current fitness and give them the ease of mind to start exercising knowing that their risk of injury is minimised.”
FIT for FUNction Fitness Test
The test requires participants to first answer a Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PAR-Q). After successfully completing the Questionnaire, participants will go through seven fitness stations conducted by physiotherapists, which will evaluate their fitness in the domains of strength, flexibility, balance, agility and aerobic capability. Upon completion of the test, the participant will be given a scorecard informing them how sport-ready they are. There will also be a consultation with a fitness instructor who will advise participants on which sports they should take up or avoid. The test is not limited to seniors and can also be carried out by participants aged 20 and above.
Mr Jazimin Haron, a physiotherapist from the Singapore Physiotherapy Association said, “The FIT for FUNction test can help reduce the risk of injury of a participant as it allows participants identify which component of fitness they are good or weak in. From the results, physiotherapists can then recommend specific exercises to improve their fitness and stay active. ”
Participant of the test, Mr Low Hooi Pin, 68, said, “From the test I found out that I have poor upper body flexibility so hopefully, by following the instructor’s recommendation on what exercises to do, I can carry out everyday tasks like housekeeping without suffering from back or neck pain.”
Ms Tan Sai Choo, 72, another participant shared, “I suffer from knee issues and many exercises cause me to feel pain in the knee so I try to limit them. However, today I learnt that there are exercises that can help strengthen my lower limb and actually improve my condition.”
ActiveSG offers a range of programmes that are suitable for seniors. For those who prefer to start off with a less vigorous activity, there are interest groups where seniors can try out senior-friendly activities like Towel and Resistance Band workouts as well as Aqua Aerobics, a workout done in a swimming pool where there is less impact on the participant’s joints. Seniors who are unsure on which programmes to take up may approach the fitness instructors at the ActiveSG sport centres for a free consultation.
Mr Richard Lim, 77, who took part in the towel workout said, “The fitness instructors recommended various fun activities that I can try out at the Sports Centres but my favourite is the Towel Workout as it is not too vigorous for me and I can do it anytime I want in the comforts of my home. The fitness instructors taught me a few moves which I will try to start doing from today onwards.”
The inaugural event of FIT for FUNction was conducted at a community event organised in conjunction with World Physiotherapy Day, where about 100 seniors came down to the Pasir Ris Sports Complex to take the test and participate in various other senior-friendly activities. The next session will be conducted on 1 October at the Yishun Wellness Centre followed by another session at the Toa Payoh Sports Complex on 20 November in conjunction with the celebration of the 75th Diamond Jubilee of physiotherapy services in Singapore.
To find out more information of the FIT for FUNction Fitness Test or ActiveSG programmes for seniors, visit MyActiveSG.com or approach the guest officers at ActiveSG sport centres.
As a key recommendation of Vision 2030 – Singapore’s master plan for sports, ActiveSG was launched in April 2014 as the national movement for sport and physical activities. ActiveSG aims to create a sporting ecosystem that provides innovative and experiential sport related programmes at sports centres island-wide. This movement will act as an enabler to build a community for individuals, families and organisations from different zones where Singaporeans can come together to learn, train, compete and host a range of sports. Working together with communities, National Sports Associations (NSAs), schools, corporations, public agencies and interest groups, ActiveSG aims to co-create programmes that are affordable and inclusive for all skill levels and age groups.
Singapore Physiotherapy Association
Founded in 1964, the Singapore Physiotherapy Association (SPA) is the only professional body to represent and advocate for the profession and practice of physiotherapy in Singapore. As a non-profit organisation, it encourages high standards of physiotherapy practice, education and research, promotes safe, effective and proven clinical standards, as well as support and unite physiotherapists in Singapore and abroad. The SPA is also a member of the World Confederation for Physical Therapy.