In the beginning of the quarantine time due to COVID19 a need emerged from the society to do something against the limited sport and recreational activities and problems caused by all-day sitting during office work at home. For many, their only ‘sport activity’ was going to work, and due to the pandemic that ceased as well. As time passed, physical and mental problems occurred frequently. At that moment Prof. Dr. Zoltán Bács, the chancellor of the University of Debrecen (UD) and the experts of the Department of Sports Medicine at UD felt the urge to elaborate an innovative online training course for everyone, which can maintain the general fitness level with simple exercises, using tools that can be found in every household, like a chair, broom etc.

Prof. Dr. Sándor Szántó, head of the Department of Sports Medicine at UD, sports physician director and rheumatologist of the Sports Diagnostics, Lifestyle and Therapy Centre (SET) and Dr. Zsuzsanna Gyurcsik, chief physical therapist of the Department of Sports Medicine started to develop the online programme with their colleagues, Dóra Hutóczki-Barkóczi and Kitti Lepp, and within a week it was ready for shooting. The main idea behind it was to show people what the correct sitting position is to avoid pain in the back, and maintain a certain level of physical condition at home. The result is an online e-learning course, which is free of charge for everyone, unlike other e-learning courses that can be found on the website of the Medical School at University of Debrecen. 

At home, with minimal equipment 

The innovative feature of the course is that it is presented by physiotherapists and they accompany the exercises with guidance as to how people can do it correctly (e.g. planking) and it is illustrated by pictures. It does matter how the torso is adjusted to the head, how the scapulas are closed and what positions we strike during exercises.

These are not the classical gym exercises, but the kind of movements which can easily be done at home. Also, the required equipment is minimal. Usually a floor mat, a chair and a stick (can be replaced by rolling-pin, broom or mop stick) are enough to do the exercises. The trickiest equipment is a fit ball. 


An exercise from the 2nd course

The programme 

The training programme consists of power point presentations and videos. In 6 episodes it is clarified how we should sit in a correct way, how our chair should be adjusted, and if we work lying or sitting on a couch using a laptop how we should do that, and what kind of easy/simple exercises we can do at home. The programme also shows what poses (sitting/lying) can cause problems in the long run. 

Exercises can be completed in 5 to 30 minutes and from newbies to professionals, everyone can find the right programme for themselves. The whole programme represents about a one-month training plan. The stretching exercises can be repeated ad hoc a few times a day, but the strengthening exercises are recommended to complete in the right order and can be a one- or two-month planned programme.

The structure of the quarantraining: 

1 – Home office and spine – ergonomic advice

2 – Prevention exercise for the problems of neck - pectoral arch

3 – Spine mobilization functional exercises

4 – Planning of training at home, forms of moving

5 – Stretching and stretching out, or what does stretching stretch?

6 – Locked down with a ball

According to Prof. Dr. Sándor Szántó, these exercises not only contribute to the strengthening of the muscles, but also prevent or terminate the pain that can appear in the joints and/or the spine. 


To develop the e-learning programme the Department of Sport Medicine at University of Debrecen and MSE Hungarian Sport and Lifestyle Development Cluster cooperated. Two physiotherapists from the MSE Cluster contributed to the shooting of the videos, it took place in the SET Centre, and the programme was developed by the Department of Sport Medicine. Also the University of Debrecen provided technical assistance to finish the e-learning course.

The development of the programme and the e-learning platform was published in the network of the university and on the Facebook site of the University. Based on feedback, it was a huge success; university students, workers and even those of another university (Department of Oncology of University of Miskolc) said that they were motivated to follow the complete courses and that it was an intensive and hard, but also a satisfying programme. 

The University decided to keep this programme on the e-learning platform even after the pandemic in order to help people to be fit and healthy. 

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Email: [email protected]

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