How can Malaysians stay active at home during MCO? How about lifting a sofa, says Health Ministry

Ida Lim
A man uses a sofa as weights. — Twitter screencap

KUALA LUMPUR, April 1 — The Health Ministry today urged Malaysians to remain active while staying at home during the movement control order (MCO) until April 14, sharing an example of weight lifting using a sofa.

The Health Ministry's official Twitter account, which has been sharing the latest daily updates on Covid-19 statistics and news, today asked Malaysians what they have been doing to stay fit.

“During the duration of this movement control order, make sure you do physical activities or exercise at home to ensure your physical health is at its best level.

“This is among the examples of physical activities that you can do. What is the healthy activity that you do?” the ministry asked in Malay, also attaching a photograph of a man lying flat on the floor while lifting a sofa.


Twitter users gamely responded to the tweet, with some responding in jest by instead suggesting the “exercise” of mouths by chewing food and eating, eating and sitting on the couch while watching an exercise video, asking if tapping on computer keyboards count as exercise, while others said they could lie on or lift themselves from beds or sofas but were yet to have the will to lift sofas.

Others cautioned about the possible dangers and injury risks of using a sofa for weight-lifting exercises, such as Twitter user @mykluangviews who said: “This type of activity is accident waiting to happen.”, while Twitter user @ilmyxsa wrote in Malay: “This is highly hazardous. To build up the arms, carry out safer exercises, such as lifting a full pail of water.”

Some Twitter users also commented on the possibility of the sofa falling on the individual lifting it and the potential of dying from such an activity, with @WateverWA sternly saying “Quite irresponsible post. This should definitely NOT be tried at home. Can we sue KKM for suggesting accident-prone activities to do while staying at home?”

Others however saw the humour of the sofa-lifting example by seeing it as a joke by the administrator of the ministry's Twitter account, including Twitter user @MrFaizAhmad who wrote “Oh KKM you funny”.

Many Twitter users, however, also took the ministry's question seriously by sharing various tips or physical exercises that they have been doing, including rope-skipping, push-ups, sit-ups, zumba, cardio exercises, doing workouts using Youtube tutorials, cleaning up the house and doing household chores.

Yesterday, Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah also urged Malaysians to adopt a healthy lifestyle while staying at home, giving them four tips including the practising of “an active lifestyle by doing physical activity or indoor light exercises”.

“Eat healthy by preparing a healthy and balanced menu. Reduce intake of sugar, salt and fat; and eat more fruits and vegetables,” he had said yesterday.

“For those who smoke, take this opportunity to quit smoking. Non-smokers can also speak out to family members who smoke to reduce exposure to cigarette smoke and the dangers of smoking.

“Cultivate a positive mindset for yourself and family members. Practice proper relaxation techniques and calm your mind every day,” he had also said.

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