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Staying fit during isolation – new online fitness programme launches today

Thursday, 02 April 2020

Staff and students from the University of Nottingham are part of an international team of experts who are today (2 April) launching QuaranTrain - a student-led healthcare project to help provide information and resources to stay fit and well during periods of isolation.

COVID-19 is preventing people from doing the activities they would normally enjoy, and the enforced self-isolation and lockdowns throughout the world are creating huge challenges to staying physically and mentally well.

QuaranTrain is led by physiotherapy students and has rapidly developed collaborations and networks world-wide with universities, hospitals, and specialist exercise institutes - Exercise-works promote global physical activity initiatives and are our key partner.

From its beginnings at HAN University, Netherlands, the project has reached out to a broad range of health care professional students and workers across the globe. The five core educational institutions are HAN University of Applied Sciences; the University of Nottingham, UK; Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Norway; HESAV, Lausanne, Switzerland; and the University of Malta. However, many other student-bodies are now a driving force for the project.

A team of 12 undergraduate physiotherapy and sports rehabilitation students from the School of Heath Sciences at the University of Nottingham are contributing to the content, admin and technical support for the programme. There are also five international physiotherapy postgraduate students developing content.

Quarantrain:

  • Aims to provide evidence-based, meaningful, effective information and support material in the form of videos and blogging. The team is providing video content through YouTube, and the website acts as a portal for huge amounts of additional and external physical activity resources.
  • It recognises a key factor of isolation is mental wellbeing, and although its remit is primarily physical activity, the holistic health and wellbeing of the global population is at the heart of what the team does.
  •  Its’ aim is to bring people together, ensure they feel safe and welcome, and become a part of a team. The resources are informative and their purpose is to make change. Language is not a barrier. Culture is not a barrier. Humanity and honesty transcend everything. With this in mind, the team also use music as a medium to connect. Musician health workers are uniting to build a series of music projects which develop inclusion, participation, and enjoyment.
Dr Roger Kerry

Dr Roger Kerry, Associate Professor in the Division of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Nottingham, is co-founder of numerous international networks and groups which promote global physical activity and well-being.

He said: “My involvement in the project came about through my international, academic, and private partner connections and I am now able to support our students to drive the project forward. 

 "This project is important because there is a lot of fear and uncertainty about being isolated, with significant impact on physical and mental health. The project aims to provide key evidence-based information, advice, and support for those in isolation. In response to COVID-19, there is huge amounts of information suddenly becoming available, and much of it is not evidence-based nor consistent. We are trying to provide a trustworthy platform where anyone form anywhere can access, engage in, and be supported by. Our main aim is to promote physical activity, which has known benefits for many physical and mental health condition, in terms of prevention and rehabilitation. Beyond this, we want to make people feel connected, and recognise that although we may all be physically isolated, we can still connect. 

“The project extends beyond COVID-19, and is concerned with isolation in general - covid-19 is giving us all a taste of what many people live with due to their social, physical, or mental state. Telling someone to do exercise is not enough, we need to belong and we need to support each other. The project also is using other media, such as music, to help reach-out and connect"

Visit  https://quarantrain.org/ for more information.

Story credits

More information is available from Dr Roger Kerry from the School of Health Sciences at the University of Nottingham, at roger.kerry@nottingham.ac.uk

Charlotte Anscombe - Media Relations Manager - Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Email: charlotte.anscombe@nottingham.ac.uk
Phone: 0115 748 4417
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Notes to editors:

The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our students. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. Ranked 103rd out of more than 1,000 institutions globally and 18th in the UK by the QS World University Rankings 2022, the University’s state-of-the-art facilities and inclusive and disability sport provision is reflected in its crowning as The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021 Sports University of the Year. We are ranked eighth for research power in the UK according to REF 2014. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally. Alongside Nottingham Trent University, we lead the Universities for Nottingham initiative, a pioneering collaboration which brings together the combined strength and civic missions of Nottingham’s two world-class universities and is working with local communities and partners to aid recovery and renewal following the COVID-19 pandemic.

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