What is Lungs in Action?
Lungs in Action is Lung Foundation Australia’s community based maintenance exercise program for people with stable chronic lung conditions who have completed a pulmonary rehabilitation. It is also suitable for people with stable NYHA class II & III heart failure who have completed heart failure rehabilitation.
All Lungs in Action classes are run by exercise professionals who have been specially trained in exercising people with chronic lung conditions and heart failure.
Lungs in Action classes are suitable for people using supplemental oxygen and/or walking frames. And there are seated options for all exercises if required.
Class formats may vary between instructors and equipment availability, however all classes will follow the guidelines set by Lung Foundation Australia’s Lungs in Action training.
Why Lungs in Action?
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Studies show that people who continue regular exercise are more likely to maintain the improvements gained from rehabilitation.
Unfortunately the benefits of pulmonary rehabilitation can decline over a 6-12 month period on cessation of a supervised pulmonary program, unless a regular maintenance exercise program is completed 1
Some of the benefits of attending a Lungs in Action classes include:
- Maintaining or even improving fitness
- Exercising with people who have had similar experiences
- Making daily life activities like gardening, self-care and housework easier
- Exposure to a social environment that is fun and supportive
- Being instructed by an exercise professionals who understand your specific needs, and have been trained by Lung Foundation Australia
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is the umbrella term for emphysema, chronic bronchitis and chronic asthma.Lung Foundation Australia estimates that approximately 1.45 million Australians have some form of COPD1,2. This represents approximately one in seven Australians aged 40 and over.1
While COPD has no cure, there are things that people can do to breathe easier, keep out of hospital and improve their quality of life – like attend a Pulmonary Rehabilitation program. Pulmonary rehabilitation is generally a 6-8 week program consisting of both education and exercise.
Evidence shows Pulmonary rehabilitation is one of the most effective interventions in COPD3,4 and has been shown to reduce symptoms, disability and handicap, reduce hospitalisation5,6 and to improve function by:
- improving peripheral muscle function, cardiovascular fitness, muscle function and exercise endurance3,4,7
- enhancing the patient's emotional function, self-confidence and coping strategies, and improving adherence with medications3,8
- improving mood by controlling anxiety and panic, decreasing depression, and reducing social impediments4
For more information on Pulmonary Rehabilitation, including current locations across Australia click here:http://www.lungfoundation.com.au/lung-information/patient-support/pulmonary-rehabilitation/
The above information has been taken from the COPD-X guidelines (link to guidelines http://www.copdx.org.au/)
1. Toelle B, Xuan W, Bird T, Abramson M, Atkinson D, Burton D, James A, Jenkins C, Johns D, Maguire G, Musk A, Walters E, Wood-Baker R, Hunter M, Graham B, Southwell P, Vollmer W, Buist A, Marks G. Respiratory symptoms and illness in older Australians: The Burden of Obstructive Lung Disease (BOLD) study. Med J Aust 2013;198:144-148
2. 9. Based on ABS census data -- CData Online 2011 Census, Australian population over 40.
3. LACASSE, Y., GOLDSTEIN, R., LASSERSON, T. J. & MARTIN, S. (2006) Pulmonary rehabilitation for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Cochrane Database Syst Rev, CD003793.
4. RIES, A. L., BAULDOFF, G. S., CARLIN, B. W., CASABURI, R., EMERY, C. F., MAHLER, D. A., MAKE, B., ROCHESTER, C. L., ZUWALLACK, R. & HERRERIAS, C. (2007) Pulmonary Rehabilitation: Joint ACCP/AACVPR Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines. Chest, 131, 4S-42S.
5. GRIFFITHS, T. L., BURR, M. L., CAMPBELL, I. A., LEWIS-JENKINS, V., MULLINS, J., SHIELS, K., TURNER-LAWLOR, P. J., PAYNE, N., NEWCOMBE, R. G., IONESCU, A. A., THOMAS, J. & TUNBRIDGE, J. (2000) Results at 1 year of outpatient multidisciplinary pulmonary rehabilitation: a randomised controlled trial. Lancet, 355, 362-8.
6. GRIFFITHS, T. L., PHILLIPS, C. J., DAVIES, S., BURR, M. L. & CAMPBELL, I. A. (2001) Cost effectiveness of an outpatient multidisciplinary pulmonary rehabilitation programme. Thorax, 56, 779-84.
7. TROOSTERS, T., CASABURI, R., GOSSELINK, R. & DECRAMER, M. (2005) Pulmonary rehabilitation in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Am J Respir Crit Care Med, 172, 19-38.
8. MORGAN, M. D. L., CALVERLEY, P. M. A. & CLARK, C. J. (2001) Pulmonary rehabilitation. British Thoracic Society Standards of Care Subcommittee on Pulmonary Rehabilitation. Thorax, 56, 827-34.
History and development of Lungs in Action
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With a significant shortfall of community-based maintenance programs specifically supporting those with a chronic lung condition, Lung Foundation Australia developed Lungs in Action.
The Development of Lungs in Action training materials and content for exercise professionals was undertaken in consultation with respiratory physicians, nurses, physiotherapists, exercise physiologists and personal trainers in Cairns, Gold Coast, Sydney and Brisbane.
The heart failure module content was developed in consultation with heart failure specialist cardiologists, heart failure rehabilitation specialist physiotherapists and nurses, cardiac rehabilitation physiotherapists and accredited exercise physiologists.
Delivery of the program was initially PILOTED in Cairns and the Gold Coast with the program continually being REFINED through feedback from participants, a steering committee, an expert advisory panel and external reviewers.
The Lungs in Action program continues to be evaluated with data collection occurring at several locations over the next 12-24 months. The data that is being collected is quality of life (St George’s Respiratory Questionnaire), exercise capacity (six minute walk tests), client experience (surveys), instructor feedback (interviews), monitoring of participant exacerbations and hospital admissions and general awareness of benefits of exercise.
FAQ for Lungs in Action Classes
How do I know if I’m eligible to attend Lungs in Action ?
To attend a Lung in Action class a person must have completed a pulmonary or heart failure rehabilitation program prior. To find out information on the eligibility criteria of Lungs in Action please click here: https://lungsinaction.com.au/health-professionals/participant-eligibility/
Who can refer me to Lungs in Action class?
Referrals into a Lungs in Action class can be made through the pulmonary or heart failure rehabilitation program or the GP. Click here to obtain the required referral forms: https://lungsinaction.com.au/health-professionals/participant-eligibility/ .
Where do I find my local pulmonary rehabilitation program if I haven’t yet completed one?
Lung Foundation Australia keeps a database of all pulmonary rehabilitation programs. The list of programs can be found by clicking here: http://lungfoundation.com.au/patient-support/living-with-a-lung-condition/pulmonary-rehabilitation-2/pulmonary-rehabilitation-programs-2/.
To obtain the contact details and specific information on your local program call Lung Foundation Australia’s information and patient support service on 1800 654 381 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
How long does Lungs in Action run for?
Lungs in Action is an ‘ongoing’ maintenance exercise class, with no end date.
Exercise should become a part of a lifetime routine and participants are encouraged to attend weekly to obtain the full benefits
Can I use oxygen in a Lungs in Action class?
Yes. Lungs in Action classes are safe for those with supplemental oxygen. Oxygen is not supplied, and participants are required to bring their own portable oxygen.
Is Lungs in Action a health program?
No. Please be aware that Lungs in Action is a fitness program and not a health program. Instructors are not trained to provide any medical advice (although some physiotherapists and accredited exercise physiologists may have scope of practice to move beyond these parameters).
Instructors are trained to understand how to safely exercise clients with COPD or other chronic respiratory condition and heart failure. Blood pressure monitoring and measurement of oxygen saturation levels typically DO NOT occur in a Lungs in Action program. Instead program guidelines, monitoring of perceived exertion and monitoring of symptoms combined with a tight referral process maintains the safety of the program and of the participants
What people say about Lungs in Action
- Having completed the British Lung Foundation active exercise instructor course a while ago I was looking for CPD opportunities to consolidate and further increase knowledge. After browsing the web I came across the Lungs in Action online program. I was very impressed by their website and their online learning approach . The quality of the online resources have been excellent . Teaching/ learning media consists of audio , written and video tutorials. The down load able manual and work books provide an ongoing source of reference, The course organisers were very approachable and responded well to any queries that were had during the course. The website was professional and very user friendly. One of the most important benefits was being able to do an online course over a period of several months. Being able to fit studying around work and family life was much more manageable. I appreciated the opportunity of having the heart failure module being attached to the course as one of our exercise sessions are a combined heart failure/ respiratory condition class, and the two work very well together. I would quite happily do further study with the lungs in action programme and would very much like to do the practice component should the opportunity ( and funding!) ever arise. In summary, I highly recommend the Australian lungs in action on line exercise course. The website is user friendly, the team approachable and it uses a variety of learning methods to suit the individual. The language used is simple and you are not lost in medical jargon. It complemented the sound theory base laid down by my previous BLF instructor course.
- I was quite excited to find this program and be able to work through it on my own time, in Northern Canada. I really appreciated how down to earth the program was while still providing the key technical information one requires. Thanks!
- Lungs in Action has given me the opportunity to continue to exercise regularly after rehabilitation. If I’m not there for a week I really miss it. I also really enjoy the social side of the class and would go to more classes if they were available.
- Through the Lift for Life Program that I deliver to mature-aged people in country Vic “Lungs in Action” was one of many courses suggested for trainers to undertake. I am so glad I chose “Lungs in Action” – it is so relevant in my daily activities dealing with mature-aged clients seeking good health and fitness. Precise information, together with slides and videos were extremely helpful. All people from first contact by phone and to Emma – thank you for your assistance. More confident armed with the knowledge which “Lungs in Action” illustrated I had no idea that it impacted on such a large scale. Seeing people in the community with supported oxygen etc I know have a greater understanding of COPD and related conditions. I was also very impressed with the on-line support provided by Mariano – he was so helpful when I had a technical problem or other. It was so quick and if I left an off-line comment this was also followed up very efficiently – he is an asset to your organisation. It felt like I was in a classroom with the instructor beside me. Good luck Lung Foundation and crew – I hope your program and education becomes more widespread.
- Several of our Leaders have now completed the Lungs in Action training. We've heard nothing but praise about the course content ('very interesting'), and overall support ('fantastic'). As an organisation I can only say that we've found it incredibly easy to partner with the Foundation. They have done everything they could possibly do, and more, to support what we are trying to achieve in providing classes to people with COPD and now Heart Failure.The support and partnerships developed with the local PR Physiotherapists and other rehabilitation specialists as part of the training, and their ongoing support, is also invaluable to the success of our classes. I can't speak highly enough of the course itself, Liz and Emma's amazing support, nor the important work they are doing to bridge the gap for those who suffer from lung conditions. We now have a program of six classes per week that we're able to offer clients who have worked through rehab and want to maintain the gains they and their rehab specialists have achieved, to stay as independent as they can for as long as possible. The friendships and support from having other class members with similar life experiences then also becomes a strong drawcard for them to continue. They tell us they're very grateful we're able to offer them the opportunity to continue exercising by providing the LIA classes, there's nothing else like it out there.
- Lungs in Action is a fantastic exercise program designed to maintain the gains achieved during Pulmonary Rehab. The training itself was interactive and delivered in an interesting manner. It also allowed me to create a working relationship with the Physio's who run the PR programs in my area. On completion of the training, I am now more confident in exercising this population as they can be a confronting group to exercise at times. Since starting my LIA class, I have received many referrals and they are continuing to come in. The support I have received from not only Liz at The Australian Lung Foundation but also from the PR physio's has been fantastic. If I am ever concerned about a patient, I know I only have to call their referring Physio and they will assist me in making the right decision for the patient. I would happily recommend the LIA training and class to professionals hoping to increase their knowledge and those wanting to run a class that is fun and very rewarding!
- The Lungs in Action Program delivered exceptional quality to our staff. Having a consistent and easy to follow structure allowed us to gain a full understanding and appreciation of COPD. The course is highly recommended if you are looking to provide the COPD community with an accessible exercise program and social connectedness.
- With 20 years working in the fitness industry the Lungs In Action Program has allowed me to work with special populations. The online training was excellent and the practical experience at the Pulmonary Rehabilitation, and most recently the Heart Failure Rehabilitation classes I really enjoyed and wanted to do more as I was learning so much each class. In particular, I was able to discuss conditions and symptoms with the participants and their physios, which gave me a better understanding. It is very rewarding to help these clients improve their fitness and quality of life.
- Due to the networking opportunities available through The Australian Lung Foundation, PACE Health Management have developed and maintained referral pathways within the local rehabilitation sector providing an ongoing community based service to enhance patient outcomes. With the support and structure of the evidence based ‘Lungs in Action’ model, PACE Health Management have been successful in establishing maintenance programs for stable chronic lung conditions and/or stable NYHA Class II and Class III heart failure. This success is greatly attributed to The Australian Lung Foundation, Specifically Emma Gainer and Liz Harper's assistance in establishing and maintaining such programs.