Being ill is no excuse for neglecting exercise

National 3 minutes, 3 seconds


THE Minister of Health called on the public to disregard the assumption that having an illness or disease meant that “one cannot exercise” or that “one needs to rest”, as this misconception only contributes towards intensifying health problems.

Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Johan Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Adanan Begawan Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Seri Setia Hj Mohd Yusof said obesity, incontinence, osteoporosis, neck and back pain may ail patients who do not exercise.

“In fact, moderated physical activity and exercise – especially under the guidance and support of a physiotherapy officer or allied health professional – would help in reducing the risks of diseases such as heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, colon cancer, and also the risk of mental illness,” the minister said.

He was speaking during the World Physiotherapy Day 2014 observance held by the Ministry of Health (MoH) yesterday.

YB Pehin Dato Hj Adanan underscored the significance of this year’s event themed “Fit to Take Part”, which emphasises that all individuals, irrespective of their physical conditions, are capable of, and has the potential to, engage in activities – be it daily activities, or physical activities such as exercise, games or sports.

The minister said research by the World Confederation for Physical Therapy had shown that patients with stroke, cancer, heart disease and diabetes, as well as elderly patients, who exercise consistently have seen a positive impact, especially in improving strength and physical fitness, as well as in reducing the risk factors, particularly high blood pressure and weight.

Meanwhile, studies by other health-related international organisations have shown that screening, early management of physiotherapy and rehabilitation can help repair the respiratory system and muscle strength faster, leading to a higher level of independence for patients when they are discharged from hospital, he said.

YB Pehin Dato Hj Adanan was confident that every individual, including those with special needs, does not want to experience suffering from conditions that affect health and pose a burden, on top of chronic diseases and non-communicable diseases.

Therefore, he said, there was no reason for anyone not to engage in physical activity and exercise on a regular basis - for at least 30 minutes at a minimum of five times a week - as long as it could be carried out safely in accordance with their physical abilities.

“With strong commitment, anyone can become independent and improve physical and fitness conditions, and be able to meet their potential quality of life,” the minister declared.

The minister reminded the public that it was important to take preventive measures, and control and discipline oneself, as well as advise family and community members in the country to adopt a healthy lifestyle at all times, and to carry out exercise and physical activities that are suitable to their abilities.

“By altering our attitudes to being more positive and forward-looking in practising and cultivating a healthy lifestyle, we will (hopefully) be able to enjoy an optimal quality of life,” YB Pehin Dato Hj Adanan said.

The minister added his ministry would continue to strive to improve health strategic measures and evaluation including physiotherapy, in the treatment and recovery of patients.

In this regard, he suggested that the role of physiotherapy officers as allied health professionals continue to be enhanced through expertise and collective collaboration action with senior officials and stakeholders, to strengthen and enhance health services in the multidisciplinary management of patients in preventing NCDs and diseases from becoming chronic and complex.

“In doing so, it is hoped that patients and those with special needs will heed the advice of physiotherapy officers, to reduce disease risk and to improve quality of life,” YB Pehin Dato Hj Adanan added.

The Brunei Times