The university tackled workplace lethargy today (Thursday 8 September) with a host of free lunchtime exercise sessions for staff at its Garthdee campus.
Workout at Work Day (WAWD) – an initiative led by the School of Health Sciences in concert with the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) – saw staff taking part in a variety of activities from yoga classes, to guided walks, to wall climbing and swimming.
Participants also learned from qualified physiotherapists how to build simple exercises into the working day by attending sessions on chair and desk-based workouts.
The initiative has been organised in response to the CSP’s ‘Move for Health’ campaign which advises that adults should exercise at moderate intensity for 30 minutes each day, five times a week. WAWD events will took place across the UK today, each communicating the core message that physical activity can help prevent or manage over 20 medical conditions, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, back pain, osteoarthritis and depression.
The state of the nation’s health has been in the media spotlight recently after the announcement by international health experts that obesity levels in the UK are continuing to rise at an alarming rate, with almost half of all adult males and over 40 percent of adult females projected to be dangerously overweight by 2030.
Health improvement and promotion is a key focus within the Faculty of Health and Social Care and across the university. All health-related undergraduate programmes are now underpinned by core modules which help students develop the skills to meet existing and emerging challenges in the health professions such as increasing obesity levels.
Nick Summersgill is a lecture in Physiotherapy and a leading force behind the university’s Workout at Work Day programme. He said: “It is unfortunately all too common for today’s professional to sit at his or her desk all day without even taking a short walk. Numerous studies, such as the one published in the Lancet Journal two weeks ago, show that sedentary behaviour like this contributes to a range of health-related issues like weight-gain and stress. What we wanted to show with this fun event is that even relatively short bursts of moderate exercise can significantly improve your health.
“As health professionals, my colleagues and I recognise that there needs to be a culture change in workplaces across the country and beyond. A concerted effort to make this change will have a significant impact on the health of the nation and help avoid a situation in which almost a third of the UK population is obese, as predicted in this recent report.
“Whether taking a half hour walk, attending a lunchtime class or even carrying out simple desk-based exercise, participants saw that it is perfectly manageable to fit exercise into even the busiest of working days.”
For further information on the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy’s Move for Health campaign visit here.
The recently-published report on UK obesity levels can be found here.
(From left) Victoria Park (Lecturer in Physiotherapy), Elizabeth Hancock (Head of School of Health Sciences) and Sally Blackledge (Yoga Instructor who led the Yoga sessions for the day)
Communications Officer | Faculty of Health and Social Care
Robert Gordon University
Tel: 01224 262389