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Monday, 1 October 2018

An active iPCHS!

Written by Dr Jonathan Quicke | | @PCSciences

This week Dr Jonathan Quicke, one of our Academic Clinical Lecturers in Physiotherapy, reminds us why it's so important that we keep active whilst we're at work.... 

Keeping active and reducing sitting time is really important for your health, well-being, social interaction and clear thinking. Sometimes, university work can make it challenging to keep as active as we would like. Screen time, writing deadlines, meetings, and eating lunch 'al desko' all contribute to the time we spend sedentary. 

NHS physical guidelines recommend we carry out 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise each week. Moderate intensity exercise, like a brisk walk or riding a bike on the flat, makes us breathe quicker, and raises our heart rate. Vigorous exercise like jogging or football makes us breathe harder and faster...and...makes...conversation...difficult. In addition, we should be carrying out strengthening exercises twice a week and minimising the time we spend sitting. 

So what is going on at Keele to help us all in iPCHS to keep moving? 

Utilise the campus

Our beautiful campus is certainly a good tonic to encourage us to get away from our desks at lunch and enjoy walking meetings. Hands up if you have not explored Keele lake yet?

Little daily challenges like parking a bit further away from the office, or going to a photocopier on the next floor can also add up. 

There are various organised physical activity initiatives for staff and students at iPCHS. The 'well-being at work' group led by Paul Campbell (linked to Athena Swan) has run beautiful bluebell walks through our very own arboretum - thanks Sarah Harrisson for being our guide and look out for future events coming soon. 

The 'Active Lifestyle Group' is part of a wider Keele University initiative to increase the health of staff and students at Keele. Emma Healey flys the flag for us with this group and championed the recent 'fitness tracker challenge', where iPCHS went toe to toe with the psychology department. You can see which department stepped up to the plate here - well done Helen Duffy for taking the crown for most steps! 

Staff and student discounts at the gym

Staff and students get excellent discounted gym rates at the sports centre, and there are many clubs and exercise sessions to get involved with, from yoga to circuits and spinning. Take a look at their programme.

Join a 'club'

Staff and students also organise regular group activities. Steph Tooth brings all her exemplary trial manager organisational skills to the table in coordinating a large group of us who play badminton on a Thursday at 5pm at the Sports Centre - all are welcome. 

Our PhD students go for regular campus jogs whilst James Bailey is involved with Tuesday and Friday lunchtime 5-a-side football. 

Group events like these can also be a great way to meet new people from the institute and the wider university. As the institute grows, it is also important to remember 'a department who plays together, stays together!' 

So what could you do today to make your working week a little more active?