Exercise compliance – Insights from using Yoga DVDs at home to instill discipline and motivation in patients.

I leave the clinicians to work out what the best exercises are, my interest is improving compliance.  

Knowing exercises is one thing, doing them is another! 

For a few years I have had a growing feeling that I need to preserve joint mobility, particularly in my lower back!   So I have toyed with the idea of doing yoga (also for a few years!).


At the end of the summer I bought a box set of yoga DVDs and over the last couple of months I have started to use the Yoga videos in the morning, at least twice a week.

They really help and now, I would probably be happy to join a class because I understand that “Cobra” is not a beer brand we have with a curry!

The point is, I did know what a sun salutation was but I never bothered doing them on my own.

With the DVD there is a framework and time structure.  From 30 minutes to 45 minutes.  ie it’s doable and someone is there with you.

Many patients leave a clinic with a set of written or verbal exercises to do. That is not going to work for most.  It DOESN’T work for most people!

I have written about exercise diaries, wall planners etc, my strong recommendation is to find a DVD that you like and sell it to patients for them to do at home (and record when they do it in their exercise diary!)

Then tell them to do the exercises at least 3 times a week or daily or whatever is appropriate.

The APPI do a video for back pain which I believe you can buy at trade prices

but there are many others.

IDEA – Why not put on a “back class” at your clinic or elsewhere, get a local videographer to record it and then give that to patients as your own-branded DVD, give complimentary copies to GPs etc etc, then who’s the local daddy?!

If you do hear yourself saying to patients “do try to do your exercices” you know that most won’t bother. Try the DVD route, it can can only help and you will stand out from the masses.

Now time for some Cobras … I’ll do my yoga in the morning 😉

Author: Stephen Small, Director Steadfast Clinics

Steadfast Clinics is the international distributor of IDD Therapy spinal decompresion, SDS SPINA, Accu SPINA and Thermedic Infrared Therapy Systems. We’re on a pain relief mission !

Exercise Compliance for Back Pain: Lessons from Selling Fitness Programmes on the Shopping Channel

The other morning, one of my daughters was watching the TV shopping channel where ‘Shaun T’ was selling the 60 day workout programme – INSANITY.

I had actually heard of Insanity because my gym instructor had lost 2 stone doing the programme and also, he had the classic “after shot” physique!  So I watched some of it and it got me thinking about back pain.

One of the bonuses Insanity gives is a 60 day wall chart calendar where people tick off their exercise days.

Why would Insanity offer that?

Sure, it’s a free bonus but they could give any kind of bonus.  The reason they choose the Wall Calendar is to help customers with self-discipline and thus help customers comply with the programme.

Such an approach is more likely to lead to a happy customer and therefore company is happy because they don’t have to honour the money back guarantee from people giving up!

You may have read my piece about using exercise diaries to plan when patients will do their exercises.  This is a way to help patients be more disciplined in planning and doing their exercises so they get the benefits (i.e. diaries help with compliance).

Why not go a stage further and get some A3 clinic-branded posters printed with a 60 day exercise planner?

Give one to each patient to put on their wall; they then tick off the days as they do their exercise.

For 2-5p, a (branded) wall calendar is something else to hold patients accountable to themselves.

It contributes to an overall professional patient approach and since you are giving it to your patient like a piece of homework, they may feel honour-bound to use it (and it just so happens to be good for them!).

Put it this way, which of these adjuncts is more likely to have a positive effect on exercise compliance?

1/ Use an exercise diary with a wall calender tracker        2/ Use nothing

You can choose to use nothing pending a clinical trial to categorically prove diaries and a wall calendar will help patients comply with their exercise programme, or you could just go for it!!!

By the way – If you want to transform your body this summer, you can see the Insanity workout programme here, over 600k Facebook likes can’t be far wrong! Not sure if my joints could take it but it does seem the Insanity programme achieves its goals http://www.beachbody.com/product/fitness_programs/insanity.do?e=5b

Author: Stephen Small
Director, Steadfast Clinics Ltd

Steadfast Clinics is the international distributor of IDD Therapy spinal decompression, SDS SPINA, Accu SPINA devices, Thermedic FAR infrared therapy systems and HydroMassage machines.