NGO warns against restricting exercise

Ljubljana, 11 November - The Slovenian Heart Foundation NGO has urged decision-makers on Wednesday not to restrict people's movement and thus their ability to exercise because of coronavirus, warning that this could have harmful consequences for people's health. Children and adults, especially the elderly, must be allowed to get enough of exercise, the NGO said.

Nova Gorica
Children running in the meadow in front of Nova Gorica Town Hall.
Photo: Marko Cencič/STA
File photo

The call comes after the Covid-19 task force at the Health Ministry proposed restricting people's movement to a radius of one kilometre from their home as the epidemiological situation in the country remains poor.

According to the head of the Slovenian Heart Foundation, Matija Cevc, such a restriction would affect people living in city centres and in apartment buildings the most. When leaving the apartment they would be unable to keep a safety distance, he said.

Children and adults must be able to get sufficient exercise. Merely going for a walk is not enough, officials said at today's press conference.

Cevc noted that most Slovenians had small apartments that did not allow for much exercise and that exercising indoors could be dangerous, especially for the elderly.

"Let people go to the mountains and get active and intensive exercise there," he said.

Gregor Starc, a professor at the Ljubljana Faculty of Sport, said children were strongly affected by the coronavirus restrictions. Studies into children's motor skills have shown the situation deteriorated during the summer holidays, he noted.

"It's time for the epidemiologists to start talking to other experts about the adequacy of measures or else the collateral damage will exceed the damage caused by the spreading of the virus," he said.

The head of the Coronary Club Ljubljana, Petra Simpson Grom, too said that coronavirus restrictions had many negative consequences, noting that regular rehabilitation exercises prevented complications in patients with cardiovascular disease.

During the spring lockdown, 11 injuries were recorded among 375 patients because of lack of muscle and nerve coordination that is usually being strengthened during rehabilitation. In the past years, one or two injuries were recorded a year, she said.

The government is expected to discuss potential introducing of stricter measures to curb the spreading of the virus at its session on Thursday.

© STA, 2020