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Motitech, the Norwegian startup motivating older people and people with dementia to engage in physical activity, is holding a month-long global cycling championship for seniors.

The firm’s annual event, held in care homes across the globe, has added pertinence this year. Via Motiview, Motitech’s immersive video-based technology, participants are able to virtually travel and see the outside world at a time when most are unable to leave their accommodation or go outdoors for exercise.

To date, care homes from the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Iceland have signed up to compete, with more than 100 teams set to get back in the saddle over September and October.

The competition is designed to encourage participation in competitive physical activity, reminding all that no matter your age, mobility or situation, you can still be an athlete.

During the championship, residents will use Motitech’s video concept, Motiview, to cycle through a choice of over 2000 locations on stationary bikes via a video projection that plays whilst the person pedals (with hands or feet, depending on mobility).

Documented health benefits include multiple accounts of residents who are now able to walk with assistance, having previously been wheelchair-bound, and a reduction in falls. This is in addition to an improved quality of life, increased confidence and more social interactions, faster rehabilitation and improved mental wellbeing.

“The 2019 Road Worlds for Seniors event was a huge success, with 194 teams competing from across the globe”,said Jan Inge Ebbesvik, President of the Road Worlds for Seniors.

“We have been amazed by the number of care homes that have come forward to specifically ask that the event takes place this year, despite the pandemic, so there is clearly a demand from both care staff and residents to pedal on and embrace a little friendly competition. We are both proud and thrilled to be one of the few sporting events going ahead this year. The fact that care homes across the world want to carry on during these uncertain times is a reflection of how dedicated our athletes are and we cannot wait to see how far and where they travel to  this year.”

The Prime Minister of Norway, Erna Solberg, has also shared words of support with the residents and staff taking part in this year’s championship: “Dear cyclists in the Road Worlds for Seniors. The whole world has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus had a major impact on daily lives for us all. For those that live in residential care, or usually attend an adult daycare centre, this time will have been especially challenging.

“This year, major championships such as the summer Olympics, the European football championship, and the world cycling championships have been cancelled due to the virus, but the Road Worlds for Seniors will go ahead as usual for the fourth year in a row. I truly believe that the championship can bring joy and inspiration, despite the special circumstances, and I wish participants and support staff the best of luck. I look forward to hearing what you can achieve together.”

Motitech is a Norwegian startup which was founded in 2013 by Jon Ingar Kjenes as a result of a successful project by the Agency for Nursing Homes in Bergen, with the hope of improving the lives of older people and people with dementia through physical activity.

The company’s concept, Motiview, helps those within care homes become more motivated to engage in physical activity through a combination of visual technology and specially-adapted exercise bikes where each user can revisit familiar places from their childhoods, and other important points in their lives, through a video projection that plays while they pedals: allowing them to virtually cycle through thousands of destinations.

To date, the company is established with 434 installations across seven countries, with the majority of users being those who reside in public and private healthcare residences in the Nordics, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. There are currently over 1500 users in England alone, with an increasing number of people making use of the technology every day.

 

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