Exercises to do at your Desk

Did you know that 30 to 40% of people with diabetes may eventually develop kidney complications ? (report source: Kidney Research UK).

This report also states that: “Diabetes is the most common cause of end stage renal failure (ERSF) requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant in the UK.

  • About 20% of those starting dialysis in the UK have diabetes
  • The condition is becoming more common and it is estimated that numbers will double in the UK over the next few years.
  • Mainly this is due to the type of food eaten and lifestyle – diabetes is more common in the overweight.
  • 30-40% of people with diabetes may eventually develop kidney complications, known as diabetic nephropathy.

World Health Organisation

According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 3.2 million deaths can be attributed to lack of physical activity. A sedentary lifestyle is responsible for increasing our risk of diabetes and heart disease as well as a loss of muscle and bone strength. Perhaps even more alarming is that people who exercise regularly are probably still not getting enough movement in their lives to counteract the deleterious effects of sitting too much.

The good news is that with a little more activity throughout the day, we can actually reverse the inevitable weight gain associated with such a sedentary existence.

So, the team at the Paul Popham Renal Fund Wales would like to encourage people who work in offices and who do generally have a sedentary lifestyle to follow some of these simple exercises whilst at work to help to get them more active without having to make major lifestyle changes.

Stretch at Your Desk

Try these a few of these ten stretches that you can do at your desk which will help to keep you flexible and add a simple exercise routine into your work day:

  • Rubber Neck: sit up tall and drop your right ear down towards your right shoulder (you don’t have to touch it!) and hold for a few seconds and repeat for the left side.
  • Reach for the Stars: interlace your fingers and reach up towards the sky, as high as you can. keeping your palms facing up towards the ceiling.
  • Look Around: turn your head the left and try and look over your shoulder and hold for a few seconds … repeat on the right.
  • Bobblehead: drop your chin down towards your chest and GENTLY roll your head from side to side.
  • Shrugs: raise both shoulders up towards your ears and hold for a few seconds and release. Repeat a few times for good measure.
  • Chest Opener: bring your hands behind your back, press your palms together, sit up tall and hold for 5–10 seconds.
  • Seated Toy Soldier: Sit up tall and extend your right arm all the way up towards the ceiling. Straighten your left leg out and raise it up as you bring your right arm down and try to touch your left foot. Do 8–10 on each side.
  • Knee Hug: with a bent knee, lift your right leg up and grab it with your arms and pull it in as close to your chest as you can. Hold for 5–10 seconds and make sure and do it on the left side, too.
  • Reach and Bend: extend your right arm over your head and reach out as far as you can to the left and gently bend over. Hold for a few seconds and do it the other way.
  • Knee Press: this one stretches out the glutes. With your right ankle on your left knee, gently press against the right knee a few times. Of course, after you’re done with the right side, be sure and give the left side some love, too.

Upgrade Your Workplace Workout

When you’re comfortable doing some of the above, then you can introduce more workplace activities into your daily routine.

Start with some stretching which is great for loosening your joints and keeping you flexible too.  Here are some other suggestions to help you upgrade your workplace workout to ensure you’re getting the daily of exercise that your body needs.

  • Walk/Jog/Run on the Spot: this is as simple as it sounds. Stand up from your chair and get to it. Anyone can do this one, you are in control of the intensity based on the pace you choose. For an even bigger challenge bring your knees up to waist level. 30–45 seconds. 3–5 times
  • Push-Ups: you don’t have to get onto the office floor to do this exercise. You can do push ups against a wall or the edge of your desk. 10 reps. 3 times.
  • Squats: from your chair, stand up, sit back down and repeat 10 more times.
  • Tricep Dips: these can be done pretty much anywhere. Use your desk or your chair if it doesn’t have wheels on it. Position your hands shoulder-width apart on the desk or chair, then move your butt off the front with your legs extended out in front of you. Straighten your arms, keeping a little bend in your elbows to keep tension on your triceps and off your elbow joints. Do 3 sets of 10.
  • Joking Jump Rope: hop on both feet at once, or alternate. Increase the intensity by adding the arm movements you would do if you had a rope. 30 – 45 seconds, 3 – 5 times
  • Calf Raises: stand up behind your chair and hold on for support. Raise your heels off the floor until you are standing on your toes. Slowly lower yourself back to the floor. Do 3 sets of 10.
  • Glute Squeeze: squeeze your glutes as hard as you can and hold for 10–30 seconds.
  • Shoulder Press: look around the office and find an old phone book or a ream of paper, something that weighs a few pounds. Hold it at shoulder height and then raise it all the way overhead. 10 reps. 3 times.
  • Wall Sit: stand with your back against the wall and slowly lower yourself into a seated position and hold for 10–30 seconds at a time.
  • Lunge: you can keep this move stationary and do it at your desk, or you could go all out and lunge down the hall to the printer and back. With one leg in front of the other, gently lower the knee of your back leg down towards the ground. Like you were going to propose to a co-worker. 10 times on each leg.

In Summary

Don’t be bothered if your work colleagues give you funny looks whilst doing any of the above exercises. You’re the one looking after you own health and well-being.

On a final note, ideally you should get up from your desk at least once an hour, even if it’s not to exercise at your desk. Set an alarm to remind you to stop squinting at that Excel worksheet and get up and move.

Also, walking for just two minutes an hour can reduce the negative effects of sitting. And if you’re still right now, get up and start moving.

Cardiff Befriending Training Course

We are holding a one-day Befreinding Training Course in Cardiff for our local supporters who would like to join the Paul Popham Befriending Service and become a trained Befriender.

The course is open to kidney patients or carers of kidney patients who are willing to give a few hours a month provide support, advice and information to other kidney patients and/or carers.

Our Befreinders give their time on a volunteer basis and share their experiences with other kidney patients carers?

The course will take place on Monday, 22nd October 2018 between 10 am and 4 pm at the Nephrology and Transplant Directorate at the University Hospital of Wales on

The course will provide the training required to Befriend kidney patients and/or carers of kidney patients who need support, advice and information.  Full details here.

For further information or to book onto the course, either call or email us as follows:

Tel: 0800 038 8989 email: support@paulpophamfund.co.uk

The Choice to Donate

Charities and medical professionals are urging organ donors to speak to their families about the choice to donate to prevent relatives overriding their decision.

In Wales alone, figures show 21 families denied consent for organs to be given or did not support deemed consent in 2016/17 even though adults in Wales are regarded as agreeing to donate unless they opt out.

The Welsh Government said this could have resulted in 65 extra transplants, with three organs retrieved per donor on average last year.

Hospitals, charities and supporters of organ donation are highlighting that words save lives and the more people talking about organ donation with their families the better.  It’s important because many people don’t realise that family support is needed for organ donations to go ahead.

Kidney Donation

When it comes to kidney donation, aside from people who have opted to be donors on their death, there are many myths about how safe it is to donate a kidney and remain alive and healthy.  To help dispel these myths, the Paul Popham Renal Fund Wales, would like to share information* on kidney donation and how safe it is to donate a kidney to a loved one.

One of the most frequently asked questions is, “How safe is it to live with one kidney?” Though the need for kidney donors is high, donation is not acceptable if the donor is put at excessive risk of harm. So, every effort is made to minimise the chance of problems.

Donation is not risk-free. Your medical team will discuss the main risks with you as you go through the process and you will need to consider these carefully when deciding whether you wish to be a donor.

There are two main aspects to the question of how safe donation is for the donor: the operation itself and living with one kidney.

The operation

Donating a kidney requires a major operation under general anaesthetic. No operation is risk-free, so it is important to make sure that you are fit and well beforehand so that the risks to you are as low as possible.  There are a number of other risks linked with the operation itself, such as infection, bleeding and pain. As with any surgery, there can be other less common and unexpected complications.

One of the benefits of being a kidney donor is that you go into the operation in good health, and the transplant team will know a great deal about you from the assessment that you have been through. This helps them to anticipate any problems, discuss them with you and to deal with them better should they happen.

Every transplant centre in the UK performs transplantation of kidneys from living donors, and one in every three kidney transplants is from a living donor. Around 1000 such operations are performed in the UK each year. This means that the donor operation is much more common than it used to be and surgeons are very experienced in removing kidneys safely. (Source: Give a Kidney One’s Enough)

Living with one kidney

It is generally considered very safe to live with one kidney and your clinical teams will outline the main risks to you, which include the most common and the most severe risks, as well as the main risks for your own specific circumstances.

For more details on the latest professional guidelines visit the British Transplantation Society website.

Some studies have indicated that there is a slightly higher chance of a small increase in your blood pressure or the amount of protein in your urine as a result of having one kidney. However, these are checked at annual follow-up and, if found, can be treated.

The overall risk of developing significant disease in your remaining kidney after donation is low, occurring in fewer than one in 200 (0.5%) donors, and it is much less in kidney donors than it is in the general (unscreened) population (because kidney donors are, of course, pre-screened to ensure they are healthy). Compared to the general public, most kidney donors have equivalent (or better) survival, excellent quality of life, and no increase in end-stage renal disease (ESRD – kidney disease).

*Please note, this information does not cover detailed medical questions; it is designed to give you general information about donating a kidney based on the advice of medical professionals and currently accepted guidance in the UK, from the research that is available to them. Your healthcare team will discuss risk with you in more detail and on an individual basis, particularly if there are certain concerns about you or your recipient because of your lifestyle, medical history or demographic, as risk must be considered on an individual basis based upon your individual circumstances.


Cardiff Quiz Night

We are delighted to announce a Quiz Night in aid of the Paul Popham Fund, Renal Support Wales, that is being hosted by one of our supporters.

The quiz night will be taking place in the Scouts Hall on Allensbank Crescent, Cardiff (CF14 3PR) on Saturday 10th November 2018 from 6.30pm to 10.00pm.

Tickets are £5 per person and includes one drink from the bar.

Proceeds from the ticket sales, bar takings and raffle on the night will be donated to the Paul Popham Fund and ring fenced to support the development of the Befriending Service throughout Wales, in particular Cardiff.

Befriending Training Course

We are holding a one-day Befreinding Training Course for our supporters who would like to join the Paul Popham Befriending Service and become a trained Befriender.

The course is open to kidney patients or carers of kidney patients who are willing to give a few hours a month provide support, advice and information to other kidney patients and/or carers.

Our Befreinders give their time on a volunteer basis and share their experiences with other kidney patients carers?

The course will take place on Wednesday 26th September 2018 at the Education Centre in Morriston Hospital between 10am and 4pm.

The course will provide the training required to Befriend kidney patients and/or varers of kidney patients who need support, advice and information.

For full details click here. 

For further information or to book onto the course, either call or email us as follows:

Tel: 0800 038 8989    email: support@paulpophamfund.co.uk


Cash for Kids Comes up Trumps for Kidney Disease Charity

The Wave & Swansea Sound Cash for Kids auction, which runs every December to raise funds for local charities, has come up trumps once again.

Radio presenters Claire Scott and Steve Dewitt have presented the Paul Popham Fund Renal Support Wales with a cheque for £1,000.

This donation will be used by the charity to fund a trip for paediatric renal patients and their families to watch the touring production of the musical, Matilda, at the Wales Millennium Centre this Christmas and the local Swansea production of Cinderella at the Grand Theatre.

Commenting on the generous donation, Joanne Popham from the fund said, “The Wave & Swansea Sound Cash for Kids appeal raises thousands of £’s for local charities every year and we are delighted to be a recipient this time round.  Trips to the theatre are normally few and far between for young kidney patients and I know there will be a huge number of very happy children and their families after the shows this December.”

Pictured receiving the cheque from Claire and Steve at the radio station are Hayley Evans (Charity Administrator) and Nicola Matthews (trustee) from the Paul Popham Fund.

Swansea Bay Summer 5k Series and Fun Run Results

That’ s a wrap!

What a fantastic 2nd Swansea Bay 5k Summer Series and Fun Run that was! The Paul Popham Running Club, 360 Beach & Watersports and the Paul Popham Fund, Renal Support Wales would like to thank all those who participated, sponsors, volunteered and worked the event for making the 2nd year for the Swansea bay Summer 5k Series a success!


The sun was shinning, participants smiling and volunteers cheering it could not fail to produce such a wonderful atmosphere for 2018 series and fun run. We were delighted to see children as young as 4 taking part in the 1k and 2.5k and an increase in participants from 2017 with nearly 100 children taking part over the 3 events!

After the Fun Run came the 5k race which saw entrants take part from across the waters! Over 600 participants took part to chase the title of 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in the Juniors, Female and Male categories!

We are delighted to the overall series winners:

HUGE MASSIVE Thanks to all participants, volunteers from PPRC, videographer – Paul and Carol Jenning, photographer – Jo Ashburner & Zoe Marshall, 360 staff and our sponsors Persimmon Homes, Active Leisure, Verdis, Gemeg, Home from Home & Falck as well as ND John Wines providing the wine for the whole series. We reached our target of raising over £3000 for the Paul Popham Fund to support kidney patients to compete in the transplant games which takes place on Thursday 2nd August to Sunday 6th August 2018 in Birmingham – so thank you one and all.

For the full set of results check the website link here:

To view the video of the series click here:

We will look forward to seeing you all back in 2019! Look out for details towards the end of 2018! Diolch One & All!


Paul Popham Fund Inaugural Golf Day

Kim Loosemore with fund manager Joanne Popham

The inaugural Paul Popham Fund Golf Day took place on a sunny Friday in July with a great atmosphere and lots of banter between the 30 plus teams ,all competing for the annual trophy!

The Paul Popham Fund Team tried their best to earn the bragging rights for their first appearance at the tournament as did all the teams that have played every year for the last 6 years but there was only one winner!

Winning team with Kim

Kim Loosemore who organises the event every year and plays in the tournament himself, lucked out when his old suppliers, FAI, took the 1st place in the event.


Kim works hard to organise the event, bringing together local and national businesses to take part in this charity golf day. Calling on old and new friends to enjoy the day while giving back to charity. As a result, a massive £4815 was raised for the Paul Popham Fund which will go towards funding children and youths with kidney failure to enjoy an activity weekend.

Kim, the charity and all teams are looking forward to the 2019 tournament look out for the date on the website www.paulpopahmfund.co.uk

Family Team Building Activity Day

Last Sunday we held a family team building activity day in Cardiff which was open to paediatric renal patients and their families.

The event was designed to include a range of fun activities for all participants but most importantly the opportunity to meet with people going through similar experiences in order shares their challenges.

To encourage open and honest conversation as a stepping stone to mutual support, the guests were encouraged to talk about their first-hand experiences and how they were coping and feeling.

The event was funded from monies raised by the charities Swansea Half Marathon Team who raised over £3000 for the charity.

Says Joanne Popham, Manager at Paul Popham Renal Support Wales, “This is the first family team building day we have held for paediatric renal patients which included their families.   We have learned at first hand through the charity that it’s not just the young patients who need support outside of medical care but their parents and siblings too.

“The aim of our peer group sessions was to help everyone involved in the care of young renal patients to understand how we can extend our support to the wider family by evaluating the issues, concerns and feelings of these groups.  Through this approach, we are able to develop our services to ensure that we meet the needs of everyone involved.”

Following the success of this first event, the charity is planning to hold similar events for renal patients over the coming months.


Success for Our Athletes in the European Transplant Games

Funds raised through the 5k series of races which the Paul Popham Renal Fund Wales has launched in 2018 for the second year running have helped us to sponsor young athletes in the European Transplant Games.

The Games took place at the end of June in Cagliari and we were delighted to have been able to sponsor Tracey Baker, Sam Scothern and Lewis Evans.

The Games are open for all kidney, liver, heart, lung, pancreas, bonemarrow transplant recipients and dialysis patients.  This is a multi-sport event which includes volleyball, badminton, tennis, table tennis, cycling, petanque, swimming, darts, golf, virtual triathlon, mini-marathon and athletics. Athletes are divided into age groups (18–29, 30–39, 40–49, 50–59, 60–69, 70+)

Our young athletes had huge successes in the games:  Tracey won one gold medal three bronze medals in athletics; Sam won a silver for golf; Lewis won a gold in discus, a silver in shot and a bronze in javelin; and Keiran Heycock who also took part for the Welsh kidney patients team and has supported the charity in the past, won two gold medals, two silver and one bronze in swimming.

In addition to funding patients to participate in the European Games, in August we are also supporting a total of 15 patients in the British Transplant Games in Birmingham.