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Appropriate physical activity to maintain physical and mental heath

Siel Bleu is a nonprofit organization who promote appropriate physical activity for those that wish to maintain or increase their physical and mental health - whether a young senior, an older person, or someone with an illness or physical disability.

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Siel Bleu is a French nonprofit created in 1997, that specialize in programs in the area of Appropriate Physical Activity (APA) – a tool of preventative care. They use APA in order to support, maintain and improve individuals’ health and wellbeing and combat problems such as dependency and isolation.
Sessions are tailored to the users' needs, abilities and location. Group sessions are organized in residential care facilities, senior clubs and community centers. Individual sessions are held at home to enable seniors to stay home as long as possible instead of going to retirement home. Siel Bleu also provides training to carers - both health professionals and parents.
In order to ensure service accessibility to the most vulnerable populations, Siel Bleu created the social business "GPS Santé" which provides APA sessions to corporate employees to prevent workplace accidents and injury from happening. The profits taken from this activity are used to sustain the nonprofit activity of Siel Bleu for the elderly people.

Several programs have been developed to address various needs. Below are a few examples:
- Chair Gymnastics
  • Maintain and improve physical ability to facilitate everyday movements
  • Improve fine motor movements
  • Stimulate cognition, verbal abilities and memory
  • Stimulate social abilities in group setting
- Fall prevention
  • Stimulate balance and motor skills
  • Increase confidence and awareness for surroundings
  • Activate protective reflexes in case of fall
- Alzheimer Gymnastics
  • Maintain autonomy, relationships and body awareness
  • Prevent disorientation and personality disorder
  • Stimulate memory, sensory and communicational engagement

Siel Bleu have activities in France ( www.sielbleu.org, in French only), in Ireland ( www.sielbleu.ie), in Belgium and in Spain.

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Regular physical activity is associated with a healthier, longer life style, and with a lower risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and most of all obesity. Given the fact the regular physical activity will help younger people stay healthier, and is an essential, component of childhood development, it is important that this be included as part of the regular school curriculum.