I was recently asked to consider how interventions could prevent hypokinetic disease. Hypokinetic diseases occur from a small amount of movement, perhaps due to injury or sedentary lifestyles. The consequences of hypokinetic diseases (or chronic illnesses) are obesity, osteoporosis, lower back pain, cardiac disease and cancer to name a few. In researching correlations surrounding hypokinetic disease, it was straightforward to find that Obesity was the primary cause of all forms of subsequent illness. In the UK, 1 in every 4 people is obese. Obesity alone costs the National Health Service £4.2 billion per year (2007), with estimated costs rising in 2015 to £6.2 billion.
In quickly answering the question there are many ways to prevent hypokinetic disease, specifically exercise. Of course the type and intensity of exercise are vital factors, but even if we, as fitness professionals get everything right, why is the amount of people diagnosed with hypokinetic disease continuing to rise?
The problem lies with the culture of fitness. The gyms are overcrowded and over priced. Personal trainers have little experience with health issues, and (for the most part) strength and conditioning coaches live in their bubbles of power development, not behaviour change. The ultimate aim of anyone working in fitness is to change the behaviour of the individual by creating a new and exciting routine. The routine must be personal and the exercise prescription must be individualised, following a set goal protocol where testing occurs every 6 weeks to see (if any) changes. The exercise professional must link closely with medical staff to ensure change does occur and importantly, there must be a social support link to guarantee the individual continues to maintain their routines.
As an exercise professional there must be one aim: to rebuild the health of the client. In many cases the personal trainer/conditioning coach/exercise professional is at fault. They are at fault because financial benefit becomes the aim and the clients’ needs are second. Furthermore, the need to link with medical professionals will enable in depth understanding of the client and allow you, the exercise professional, to reach the clients’ goals effectively.