A kidney

Loughborough academics support online wellbeing resource for those with kidney disease

Academics at Loughborough University have supported an online wellbeing platform, launched by Kidney Research UK, for patients at all stages of kidney disease.

Aimed at improving physical and mental wellbeing in all kidney patients across the UK and internationally, Beam for Kidney Disease features live and on demand exercise classes, workshops and educational videos, as well as motivational and community support.

Beam for Kidney Disease was conceived by Dr Sharlene Greenwood, Consultant Physiotherapist at Kings College Hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of the project, Professor Lettie Bishop, Professor of Exercise Immunology at Loughborough University, was asked to join the steering group for the development of Beam for Kidney Disease and to produce an educational video on ‘keeping moving to keep your immune cells happy’.

Prof Bishop explained: “We know that increasing activity levels has a multitude of benefits for people living with kidney disease. In-house kidney rehab programmes are amazing, but still aren’t commonly available in the UK and during the COVID-19 pandemic kidney patients have been asked to shield and so keeping active has become more difficult.

“When I was approached to get involved I could see the tremendous potential for Beam for Kidney Disease to provide a place for the kidney community to be able to keep moving and manage their physical and emotional wellbeing, while being given the chance to learn more about why activity is particularly beneficial for their condition.

“The fact that the exercise and wellbeing classes are led by physios, other health care providers and people who themselves are on their own journey with kidney disease means that the classes and workshops are really geared to the unique needs of the kidney community.”

Ahead of the website launch Dr Greenwood added: “During lockdown I became increasingly worried about my patients with kidney disease who were shielding at home. There were real concerns about physical and mental wellbeing, and many patients reported missing coming to our renal rehab classes that we offer at King’s College Hospital, and having that interaction with people.

“At the time, I was also working on the frontline and seeing many patients with kidney disease who had been admitted to hospital with COVID-19. The rehabilitation needs for this patient group was very apparent. Kidney Beam is an excellent opportunity to bring something novel and exciting to the kidney community at a time when it is most needed.”

For more information, visit the Beam for Kidney Disease website.