Former cyclist on virtual roads

Former cyclist on virtual roads

Svein has cycled the cycling race from Trondheim to Oslo in Norway 16 times in the past. Now he is using an indoor exercise bike and videos at Stjørdal Health Centre, taking virtual cycling trips. Even though his health is not what it used to be, he is still not cut off from cycling, one of his favourite activities.

Motivation to exercise

Using the global video library, the seniors can visit familiar places or travel the world to high resolution cycling videos made by Motitech. “The weather is always nice in the videos,” says Torhild Skjelstad, who is a nurse and works with welfare technology. “We also see it a social hub, and of course the physical activity. So it is exercise, activity and fun at the same time.”

The concept is called Motiview, and is made by Motitech. Its main goal is to help motivate physical activity, mental well-being and social connectedness through cycling videos. The video library consists of thousands of videos from 40 countries around the world. 

Foto: Fredrik Skaget Øien. Facsimile from Bladet. 

Works for everyone

“This works well for people with reduced cognitive capabilities as well as for everyone,” claims Grete Skjøstad, occupational therapist. “The idea is for the cyclists to get associations and to reminisce, and it works very well. With some luck, people can forget the exercise altogether and simply immerse themselves in the videos.”

Outside, the sky is grey and the rain clouds hover over the town. To Svein that doesn’t matter, since the weather in the videos is always nice. He is engaged on his virtual trip. This time he is travelling through Oppdal, a village 150 km from Stjørdal. “I guess you’re afraid to ride in the middle of the road, being used to a racer,” Grete asks him. “Nope, that’s not a problem!” Svein smiles.
“This is first class exercise,” he says. “You don’t need to be an athlete to use it. This is a great piece of technology!”

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