INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SPORT

Locked down because of Covid? Exercise

Scholars decry bans placed by various governments on sports engagements.

In Summary

• The scholars said that sports have assumed bigger importance following the Covid-19 pandemic, with many people confined within their homes.

• They spoke during a webinar organised by Mt Kenya University

Mount Kenya University founder and chairman Prof Simon Gicharu with Prof Peter Wanderi during the presentation of rugby and football gear to the students at Thika pavilion ground.
Mount Kenya University founder and chairman Prof Simon Gicharu with Prof Peter Wanderi during the presentation of rugby and football gear to the students at Thika pavilion ground.

Sports scientists have emphasized the importance of physical activity as one way of remaining healthy amid lockdowns and other Covid-19 measures. 

They said that sports have assumed bigger importance following the Covid-19 pandemic, with many people confined within their homes.

The scholars spoke during a webinar organised by Mt Kenya University. The university is the current Unesco chair on Digital Education, Interdisciplinary Teaching and Sustainable Development.

The scholars encouraged Kenyans to take up physical activity as part of their daily routine. The webinar was part of events to mark the International Day of Sport for Peace and Development.

Mount Kenya University pro-chancellor Dr Vincent Gaitho said: "We should all continue with a routine of engaging in well spread-out two to three hours of physical activity per week for personal health." 

The scholars said individuals must remain in good body health through regular participation in physical activities.

“Let us remember our individual capacity for physical activity participation is not on lockdown,” the scholars said in the communique read by Gaitho.  

They decried bans placed by various governments on sports engagements.

Prof Seun Omotayo urged individuals to participate in sportive activities even during the hard Covid-19 pandemic times for better health. Omotayo is the African Sport Management Association’s vice president and executive representative for the West African region

Prof Kihumbu Thairu said professionals can use physical activities to empower themselves in building the much-needed immunity to protect themselves from Covid-19. Thairu is the president of ASMA, a medical doctor and an exercise physiologist. 

Others who spoke included Prof Peter Wanderi of MKU, Prof Vincent Onywera and Dr Jane Kamau of Kenyatta University, and Prof Richard Davison of the University of the West of Scotland. MKU chancellor and economics professor John Struthers is based at the University of the West of Scotland. 

Some individual or home-based physical exercise guides can be found on the MKU website.

They encourage people working from home and unable to access gyms to dedicate well spread-out two to three hours of exercise per week. Professionals can participate in some of the activities at any time of the day.