Swim England’s Water Wellbeing programme is to be expanded to more pools across the country thanks to a formal partnership which aims to get even more people active.
The recognised national governing body has worked in conjunction with Good Boost, a social enterprise which develops digital technology to deliver affordable and accessible therapeutic exercise programmes for musculoskeletal conditions, since 2019.
However, the creation of a more formal partnership with Good Boost will enable even more people to access the award-winning technology.
Good Boost creates personalised programmes for people living with health conditions such as arthritis, back pain and pre/post joint replacement surgery in a bid to get them physically active.
Sessions are delivered individually or in group classes and everyone has a waterproof tablet device showing how to complete the exercises.
After 12 weeks of taking part, participants report an average of 56 per cent reduction in pain, 51 per cent improvement in physical function and almost two-thirds improve their overall quality of life.
Good Boost has been delivered in more than 40 venues, including public pools, retirement villages and hydrotherapy pools but will now be expanded further following the new agreement.
Jon Glenn, Swim England learn to swim director, said: “The partnership with Good Boost supports our mission to create opportunities to get the nation happier and healthier through swimming and aquatic activity.
“It provides leisure operators with access to one of the latest technological solutions to support the health of local populations and help them to assist the NHS with rising healthcare costs.
“Also, as an integral part of our Water Wellbeing programme and accreditation scheme, we are encouraged to see a growing number of operators using the application to compliment and grow existing aquatic offers, with some fantastic results being reported back.”
Ben Wilkins, Good Boost CEO, added: “There is an ever-growing need for community venues to provide health and wellbeing solutions for people living with long-term health conditions.
“In swimming pools, people can take advantage of the vast inherent benefits of exercise in water.
“Working with Swim England on the Water Wellbeing programme aims to ensure that pool venues have the knowledge, training and equipment to deliver personalised aqua programmes that are effective, inclusive, accessible and affordable.
Winner all way round
“This has the power to transform community spaces into therapeutic places.”
An independent health-economic analysis has also shown that each pool delivering Good Boost creates more than £90,000 of health savings through reduced appointments and health procedures.
Participants report no longer needing their pain medication, sleeping better, returning to work and even cancelling hip and knee replacement surgery due to the health improvements.
Bridget, from Oxford, who has used the Good Boost technology, said: “I enjoy the exercises, but most of all, I enjoy the company.
“The first time I came along, I could hardly walk, and this is a couple of years later and I’ve lost six and a half stone.
“I’m able to move better, my muscles are better. My posture has changed hugely. I used to be hunched over before because of my fractured neck and back.
“Good Boost, because it’s in water, it’s easy for me to do the exercises. If I’m out of the water, I can’t do it.”
Paul, from Southampton, added: “I’ve had AS (Ankylosing Spondylitis) since I was a child.
“By doing the exercises, I can get a good night’s sleep and actually reduce the amount of drugs I’m on – it’s a winner all the way round.
“The staff are great. It’s good because you’re in a controlled environment, so you’re not getting out of your depth if you don’t want to.
“The exercises build up too, so you gradually build up your confidence – it’s great.”
Good Boost has won multiple awards including ‘Pool Product of the Year’, ‘Rehab Technology of the Year’ and the prestigious international Fit For Life Award.
The Water Wellbeing programme is also a finalist in the Royal Society of Public Health awards with the winner being announced on 21 October.