COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways, caused by a virus called coronavirus and is effecting the World.
There are several measures in place to combat the spread and government advice on what you should and should not do (we of course recommend you follow this which you can find here).
BUT what about if you use a wheelchair, should you think about doing anything different or extra? – below is aimed specifically at wheelchair users with some essential tips and things you may wish to consider…
1) Clean your wheelchair pushrims, QR pins and brakes
The number one bullet point on the official UK NHS website is “wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds” so it is clear that clean hands and hygiene is important. However if you use a wheelchair you will constantly be touching your pushrims and brakes – then if you take your wheels off, such as when in and out of the car, the quick release axel pin. So if you clean your hands but not your wheelchair then you are potentially instantly putting germs and bacteria back on your hands. It’s a good idea to use an antibacterial wipe to clean your wheelchair regular.
2) Exercise and keep active from your wheelchair
There is huge concern that as people avoid each other with social distancing and keep themselves isolated that this could have a huge impact on both physical and mental wellbeing. It’s also hugely important wheelchair users and those with a disability keep as active as possible, arguably even more so during this period. This is however difficult to do but the following pieces of equipment are being used to combat this issue and help with improving and maintaining fitness.
Top equipment for wheelchair exercise:
Therabands & Dumbbells – simple resistance bands and weights for strength building and maintaining which you can easily use in the home with many different workouts.
Available from: Amazon.
Wheelchair treadmill – best machine for cardio wheelchair exercise and suitable for any manual wheelchair. Also connects to mobile phone app to save and record all data.
Available to try for free in the UK and shipped Worldwide from: Invictus Active.
YouTube exercises & advice – there are many online exercise guides you can follow with help and advice too, such as Adapt To Perform. Ben’s a wheelchair user himself following spinal cord injury and his YouTube channel has several video around home exercise and general tips and advice, check it out here.
3) Consider your disability and what impact this has
Naturally if you use a wheelchair you usually have a disability of some form, this of course varies a huge amount but it may be even more important to protect yourself and follow the advise because your risk of being seriously ill should you get COVID-19 may increase. The government has released an ‘at risk group’ which you can find here and we recommend checking if your own disability, or the effects of this, is within this group and if so follow the advice given.
So in short what should I do if I use a wheelchair?…
Be sensible, follow the official advise and if possible avoid unnecessary social interaction. Clean and maintain your wheelchair along with your hands and keep as active as possible.
NOTE: The above information is a help and advice guide only – please always refer to the official government website for latest up-to-date information.