MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Students from the West Virginia University School of Pharmacy showed local seniors that getting fit can be fun at any age when they hosted a Senior Olympics for the residents of Sundale Nursing Home on Saturday, April 14.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, regular physical activity can not only provide health benefits such as reducing the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes, but it can also ease the pain of arthritis, improve quality of sleep and help ease the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
“This was a great event for our senior attendees where they were able to have fun and socialize while getting physically fit,” WVU student pharmacist Amy Toler said. “It’s important that our senior citizens realize that they need to stay active and that physical activity on a regular basis can help prevent or reduce the risk for many disease states.”

Participants at the Senior Olympics event competed in hand-eye coordination events, such as remote control car racing, bowling, basketball shootout and a ping-pong toss. They also played respiratory health games, such as candle blowout, and physical fitness games, including balloon volleyball, bean bag toss and other activities.

“We want our senior citizens to know that physical fitness does not have to be strenuous in order to be beneficial,” Toler said. “Any regular activity that gets you up and moving helps. Just choose something you enjoy, stick with it and stay moving.”

The student pharmacists were partnered Sundale Nursing Home through the WVU Center for Civic Engagement for their Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience course, which promotes service to the community. This project was designed to meet objectives of Healthy People 2020 — a national initiative to increase public awareness about health and diseases and promote quality of life and ways to improve health.   

Photo caption: (l-r) WVU student pharmacists Amy Toler, Amy Sharp and Jason Hicks help a participant with the remote control car event, which tested dexterity.

For more information: Amy Newton, School of Pharmacy, 304-293-7192
at/an: 04-09-12