Handy hints for health and wellbeing inside the classroom

Danbocise by Simon Hayhurst https://flic.kr/p/obrNrj CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Move more, sit less

According to a 2013 survey of University of Sydney staff and students, many of us don’t get enough daily physical activity or exercise. Regular physical activity provides a range of positive health benefits, including improvements in cognitive functioning and wellbeing – both areas of huge benefit for students and staff alike.Move more, Sit Less

Healthy Sydney University recommends the following opportunities inside the classroom to encourage your colleagues and students to move more, sit less. These opportunities will ensure you and your students remain focused, engaged, attentive and healthy.

  1. Stand and stretch
    Include a brief standing break during long periods of sitting, such as lectures and seminars
  2. Take the lead
    Use the lapel microphone in lectures and seminars to lead discussions while on the move
  3. Break it up
    Encourage group work to allow students to meet and move during longer classroom sessions
  4. Tailor the timetable
    Consult with the timetabling unit to include a change of room after a lecture or tutorial for a brisk walk between classes

Mental wellbeing

In 2015, Healthy Sydney University conducted a review of the scientific literature, looking at the most effective university-wide strategies and approaches that higher education institutions can implement to promote the mental wellbeing of their students.

Mental Wellbeing

The results have been summarized in ‘A blueprint for student mental wellbeing’ factsheet, which encourages academic staff to consider:

  • Using alternate academic strategies – such as changing the grading or assessment in a course;
  • Infusing mental health knowledge and skills in the curriculum – so all students have the opportunity to discuss and learn about mental wellbeing
  • Develop and promote the use of evidence-based apps and e-tools to support wellbeing – such as ReachOut’s The Toolbox or Smiling Mind
  • Build healthy physical environments on campus – promote green spaces, natural light and ventilation.

If you would like to be involved with Healthy Sydney University or would like more information, please contact Elly on 9036 7891 or healthy.uni@sydney.edu.au.

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