Effingham Public Library, a catalyst for positive change, is excited to partner with the Greater Midwest Region of the National Library of Medicine to bring a series of chair yoga classes to our small, rural community.
The “Mobility for All” project responds to the latest Community Health Profile Report for Effingham, Illinois, that found a prevalence of overweight adults in Effingham County – 41.7%- as opposed to 35.8% nationally.
Even more troubling was the continued increase of respondents who shared that over the past week they’d had no leisure time for activity. Only 20.7% of Effingham County residents had participated in any physical activities or exercises like running, golf, gardening or walking for exercise.
Yoga practice is relatively new to our community and chair yoga with its gentle and balanced approach to building strength and coordination is a non-threatening approach to exercise that is approved by most health care professionals.
Our goals with this project are two-fold. First, Chair Yoga provides a safe form of low-impact exercise for almost anyone that improves mobility function and reduces symptoms like chronic back pain. Second, much of our older population that lives in our rural community lacks access to broadband resources so providing free opportunities to learn more about trusted self-care practices and resources is crucial and the National Institute of Health is the perfect partner for this project.
Partnership with the GMR has given us a chance to order and share print resources like the National Institute on Aging’s Healthy Eating After 50, Pain: You Can Get Help, Exercise & Physical Activity, and the Workout to Go booklet with this group.
With a large clear space, armless chairs (folding chairs will work), and an instructor who is particularly excited to work with anyone, but especially older people, Chair Yoga is an obvious choice for libraries. Participating libraries will provide their community a great new exercise opportunity, trustworthy health information and increase their programming numbers too!