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Physios’ guide to the ‘healthiest’ gadgets this Christmas

13 December 2007 - 12:05am

Get in shape with this year’s must-have gizmos

With just over 10 days of shopping left until Christmas, chartered physiotherapists have come up with the essential guide to ‘healthy’ gadgets, designed to help get the most out of your presents.

The cost of Christmas in Britain is expected to rise to £11.8 billion this year (1) with average consumers set to spend over £400 on Christmas presents (2).

In a bid to tackle unhealthy, sedentary lifestyles and to help people avoid the gift of pain this Christmas, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) is offering its top tips to turning this year’s must-have gizmos into the healthiest gadgets on the market (3).

Research shows the average person will spend £419 on presents this year and it is gadgets like MP3 players, mobile phones and games consoles that will feature strongly on many wish lists. The great news is many of these gadgets can also be used to help you get into shape.

MP3 players are excellent for providing extra motivation to be physically more active and can make activities like brisk walking pleasurable. Games consoles have the potential to offer a workout by enabling users to simulate physical activity and there are even easy exercises to do whilst watching commercial breaks on the high definition television. (Click on the link below to download the CSP tips for other great ideas).

‘With technological advancement and the increasing availability of gadgets designed to make our lives easier some of us are likely to pile on the pounds. But these gadgets can be used to our advantage and can help improve our general health’, says chartered physiotherapist Sammy Margo.

‘We live in a consumer society that encourages sedentary lifestyles. It is becoming impossible for many to avoid putting on weight. With the current obesity epidemic partly the result of over-indulgence and laziness, playing with gadgets that encourage us to remain sedentary can only exacerbate the problem.

‘Not using gadgets properly over a length of time can also trigger a host of other physical problems such as back pain through poor seating posture and upper limb disorders like repetitive strain injury (RSI) or text message injury (TMI).’

With sales for MP3 players, satellite navigation systems, HDTVs, mobile phones and games consoles expected to soar this Christmas, the CSP has produced some easy tips on how this year’s trendiest gadgets can be used to improve your health.

Sammy says: ‘Some of these gadgets may come with a hefty price tag but following these simple, easy to adopt tips may mean the cost to health is minimised. Designed to help you get fitter, stronger and more active, they can help jump-start any New Year resolutions you may have to get into shape.’

The CSP can provide case studies, which demonstrate how some of this year’s most popular gadgets are being used to increase physical activity. See notes.

ENDS

Notes to editors

(1) Centre for Economic and Business Research, October 2007

(2) Survey by Fool.co.uk, October 2007

(3) CSP’s Christmas Gadget Workout. To download, click on the link below.

For media enquiries please call Prabh Salaman at the CSP Press Office on 020 7306 6163/6628/6616 (24 hours mobile: 07795 564 240/07786 332 197/07900 160 349) or Ann Stirling on 01273 202980 (24 hours mobile: 07939 153 513).

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy is the professional, educational and trade union body for the UK's 49,000 chartered physiotherapists, physiotherapy students and assistants. For previous releases visit www.csp.org.uk

CASE STUDIES:

Natalie, aged 37, who is a full-time mother of two, lives in Chigwell, Essex and is a heavy mobile phone user. She says:

“I spend a lot of time on my mobile phone. I have many friends and a large family so it’s an essential gadget for me and I am never without it. I also have lengthy conversations so it is very easy to sit and be sedentary but I prefer to use my time on the phone more wisely. I do all my housework or use an exercise bike whilst on the phone and I walk everywhere, indoors and outdoors, chatting away. It certainly helps towards keeping me fit and active. I must start thinking about using a hands-free kit as it would allow me to do even more and could make being on the phone for long periods more comfortable. Right now I use my speaker function or switch hands regularly so a hands-free kit would keep me very mobile.”

Stefanie, aged 24, who is a marketing freelancer, lives in London and is a big fan of her MP3 player. She says:

“I love my MP3 player. It goes everywhere with me and most importantly it is the key accessory in my gym bag. I go to the gym five times a week and I jog or walk for 40 minutes every day. I can’t workout without it. It really helps to put me in the zone and I need it when my workout gets intense. Listening to my favourite tracks keeps pushing me to go that little bit further. It keeps me motivated and focused. I’ve got a personal mantra where I tell myself one more song, one more song and I feel great for it. If I don’t have my MP3 with me then I won’t exercise but when I do have it I feel excited about going to the gym because it also helps me to relax.” 

 

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