A healthy turn out for Health Week

“Great fun was had by all” at this year’s Health Week, says Coral Brazier, Kingston University’s health adviser.

Health Week ran from February 22 to 28, with the main focus on Tuesday, which included various stalls offering free information and advice in the marketplace from therapists, faith advisers and fitness, health and nutrition experts and over 40 free activities promoting better health.

Over 1000 staff and students participated in activities during the week, including a “pongbot” challenge where over 200 students went up against a table tennis robot.

A group of fourth year pharmacy students headed a stall with the slogan “Healthy Heart, Healthy You” and were raising awareness and support for the British Heart Foundation.

A spokesperson for the group said that people nowadays worry about their appearance a lot more and if you look after your heart it will “show on the outside”.

They also provided BMI calculators and offered to check people’s blood pressure.

Nuala Price, an acupuncturist at the campus Health Centre, had a stall offering students the chance to try it to show that the needles are “not that scary”.

Trainers from the university’s Fitness Centre focused on promoting the health benefits of exercise and offered a variety of free classes from a squat workshop to Yoga to Zumba.

Across all ages and genders there is evidence that exercise can alleviate anxiety and stress, which may be helpful for students when coursework piles up or exams are approaching.

Dr Beth Pummell, a senior lecturer in Sports Psychology at Kingston, said: “There is evidence that [exercise] results in more positive mood, both in the short term after a bout of exercise, and in the longer term, with evidence that exercise can alleviate chronic depression.”

She added: “There is evidence that exercise helps students to cope with the stress of their studies, for example with examinations, and therefore buffer against negative effects of stress.”

Pummell recommended that adults should aim to be active every day and engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity every week.

She highlighted the necessity to reduce our sedentary behaviour by incorporating “lifestyle activity” such as walking to campus instead of driving or getting public transport.

Health Week’s activities were run by Kingston University Student Wellbeing, More Energy, Elior, the Union of Kingston Students, Run England, Occupational Health, Kick-it, and the pharmacy and nutrition courses within the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing.

For more information on how to live a healthy lifestyle check out the Government’s guidelines here.

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